New York Mets fire hitting coach Chili Davis: Replacements are already in place

Apr 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis (30) during batting practice prior to a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

After struggling offensively for much of the season, the New York Mets announced after Monday’s loss to the St. Louis Cardinals that they dismissed hitting coach Chili Davis and his assistant, Tom Slater.

Davis was a well-respected figure in the clubhouse, credited for JD Davis’ breakout season in 2019 among other things. However, the Mets felt the need to move on in another direction that fits the franchise modus operandi in a better way.

The writing was on the wall when several Mets players credited a fictional (so far) hitting and approach coach named ‘Donnie Stevenson’ for the recent uptick in performance.

Hugh Quattlebaum and Kevin Howard will take over as the Mets’ hitting coaches from now on. They entered the organization in the offseason to work in minor league player development, so the Mets are promoting from within.

The Mets wanted people who fit their philosophy

Mets’ general manager Zack Scott implied that the decision of firing Davis was mostly because the organization has a modern view, and Davis was more of a traditional hitting coach. “It’s based more on a vision for what we want our major league hitting program to be,” Scott said Monday, according to the New York Daily News. “It’s not about results,” Scott said repeatedly.

Before Monday’s game, the New York Mets’ .364 slugging percentage was only better than the Pittsburg Pirates, Miami Marlins, and Detroit Tigers.

“We just felt like the players needed a different level of support, with maybe some different skills brought into the mix,” Scott said.

About the two new hitting coaches, Scott said that “these are both two very well-liked baseball men,” Scott said of Davis and Slater. “There’s strong relationships, players like these guys. We know that there’s some risk in making a change and disrupting what’s been going on since spring training, but we felt like it was worth taking that risk in order to get to where we really want to be with our major league hitting program.”