The Mets front office is tired of the team’s failure to hit, and has made this publicly known by firing hitting coach Dave Hudgens, according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin. Hudgens had been in the position since 2011, and has a history with currents Mets’ general manager Sandy Alderson, as they were both in the Athletics’ organization in the late 80s Alderson as GM, Hudgens as a minor-league manager.
History isn’t enough when the hitters you’re in charge of can’t do a thing, however. The Mets have a collective OPS+ of 89, 10th in the National League and 24th in the majors. They actually rank third in the NL with walks with 164, behind only the Marlins and Dodgers, but they are batting just .237 and have the second-lowest slugging percentage in the league: they’re ahead of only the Padres, who play in the worst park for hitters in the game.
The lack of offense isn’t new under Hudgens: the Mets produced a 91 OPS+ in 2013 and 94 in 2012 after an above-average campaign in his first year on the job. Granted, that’s not all Hudgens’ fault: the Mets have given their now former hitting coach plenty of bad hitters to work with, and hitting coaches only have so much learning to give. Alderson can’t fire the Wilpons for refusing to pony up for Stephen Drew, though, so it’s Hudgens who is out of a job.
That might not be entirely fair, of course. Ike Davis, whom the Mets couldn’t seem to turn around at all the last couple of seasons, is hitting .303 / .395 / .424 (133 OPS+) in the 32 games since he was traded to the Pirates this year. Combined with whatever failures are happening in Queens at the moment, this might have cost Hudgens his position on the bench
Either way, Lamar Johnson is Hudgens’ successor according to Rubin. He’s been in the organization since 2005, spending time as a roving hitting instructor then as the Mets’ minor-league hitting coordinator. He has his work cut out for him, as catcher Travis d’Arnaud and third baseman David Wright have both been disappointing this year, and keeping Curtis Ganderson on the torrid pace he’s been on in May is also on the to-do list.
Source: SB Nation