Posted on October 22, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
The New York Mets appear to have found their new manager, and it’s Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway. Multiple sources are reporting that the Mets have offered Callaway a three-year deal to become their new manager. The team could formally introduce Callaway as the new manager as early as Monday. This will be Callaway’s first managerial job after serving as Cleveland’s pitching coach since 2013.
Callaway will be replacing Terry Collins, who stepped down as Mets manager at the end of the season. Collins spent seven years managing the Mets and led them to the World Series in 2015. However, after a losing season in 2017, brought about in large part because of injuries, both sides agreed that it was time to part ways.
The choice of Callaway is actually a surprising one by the Mets. As of Saturday, there were reports that current Mets hitting coach Kevin Long and Mariners bench coach Manny Acta had emerged as the favorites to land the job. Astros bench coach Alex Cora and White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing were also considered for the job. Ultimately, the Mets chose a candidate with no experience as a major league manager but someone with a great reputation when it comes to pitching.
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With Callaway serving as their pitching coach, the Indians had the lowest ERA in the American League in 2017. Cleveland’s pitching staff also had the second-lowest ERA in 2015 and 2016. Pitchers like Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, and Carlos Carrasco have all blossomed under Callaway’s tutelage over the past few seasons. Great pitching has been the primary reason why Cleveland has won back-to-back division titles and reached the World Series last year.
Obviously, the Mets are hopeful that Callaway can have the magic touch on their pitching staff. The Mets have arguably the most talented rotation in baseball, one that took them to the World Series in 2015. However, that pitching staff was devastated by injuries in 2017, with Noah Syndergaard missing most of the year. Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler also missed significant time with injuries.
Of course, even when they were able to take the mound, both Harvey and Matz endured profound struggles this season. The Mets are hoping that a manager with pitching expertise will be able to get those two and the rest of the staff back to the form they had in 2015. If Callaway can accomplish that, the Mets will have a chance to be contenders in 2017 and once again play deep into October.
That being said, anytime you bring in an inexperienced manager, you take a risk. That’s particularly true in a market like New York. However, Callaway is well-respected throughout the game and has developed a great reputation and track record during his time as Cleveland’s pitching coach. For many, hiring Collins seven years ago was making the safe choice. But hiring Callaway shows that the Mets are willing to take a little bit of a risk, hoping it will lead to a great reward.