The Mets have proven that two hitting coaches aren't better than one

Employing two hitting coaches hasn't helped the Mets hitters produce much at all through one week of the season.
May 9, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) prepares on deck
May 9, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) prepares on deck / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets haven’t been able to find much stability as an organization in recent years. One of the highest turnover rates has come from the hitting coach position. The Donnie Stevenson storyline from 2021 practically made the job title into a joke. It lost any of its humor when Chili Davis was fired from the position and the season-long slump continued.

The Mets offense took flight in 2022 under the guidance of Eric Chavez only to crater in 2023 with Jeremy Barnes in the position. Chavez was elevated to bench coach last season and accepted a role-reversal to hitting coach for 2024 with one caveat: Barnes would remain in the position, too.

Two hitting coaches is strange. It’s not that Chavez and Barnes should be incapable of sharing. One has to wonder with the early offensive woes if maybe there is some mixed messaging going on.

The Mets have too many chefs in the batting cages

No coach in baseball is scapegoated more than the hitting coach. Even pitching coaches get a big pass at times. Managers only ever lose games for a team and fans typically accept this.

Not hitting coaches. A lengthy slump, consecutive shutouts, or a general June performance from the Mets will often lead to someone losing their job. Blame ultimately falls on the players who are swinging through meaty changeups or chasing a high fastball. But when the time comes for action, it’s often the disposal hitting coaches who suffer.

Chavez and Barnes (not injury attorneys) will feel the brunt of blame if the Mets continue to slump for a prolonged period of time. The purpose of having two hitting coaches should be to get as many opinions as possible. As long as everyone says the same thing, it should work. And because critics haven’t come out against the setup the Mets have, we can only assume they aren’t the problem.

After all, who on this roster is there to really teach? Hitting coaches are more about gathering information or seeing things the players are unable to. If a player’s hands are dropping all of a sudden or other aspects of the mechanics are failing, it’s the coach’s job to point it out and find a solution.

Easier said than done. Professional hitters crawling through the beginning stages of the season aren’t as fixable as a newcomer who hasn’t figured it out yet. Bad luck? Life distractions? An attempt to play through an injury?

It must be lonely to stand at the plate with 100 mile per hour balls hurled your way and only a wooden stake to defend yourself. Knowing you have two coaches to turn to for help instead of the usual one might ease some of the worries, but so far the decision to have two people for this one position hasn’t helped at all. 

Has Chavez lost the touch from 2022 or does the stink from the offensive production from Barnes’ team in 2023 linger?

The troubles don’t fall on Chavez and Barnes, but geez does it look bad to have two hitting coaches yielding such little production from star players. Even in their two wins, the Mets should consider themselves lucky. Nearly no-hit once and their latest win on Friday coming with 2 of their 3 runs on a sacrifice fly and a fielder’s choice plus an error, the two-game winning streak isn’t a result of a sudden improvement at the plate.