New York Mets will retain Jeremy Hefner as their pitching coach for 2021

New York Mets hire Jeremy Hefner as pitching coach.
Feb 25, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner (58) during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets essentially cleaned house in the front office once new owner Steve Cohen and president Sandy Alderson took over. Former general manager Brodie Van Wagenen left the team, and most of his staff was also separated from the team.

Recently, it was reported that Hensley Meulens, who served as the New York Mets’ bench coach in the 2020 season, would not be returning for the 2021 campaign. On the other hand, manager Luis Rojas will indeed come back next year to try to take the team to the postseason.

Now, SNY’s Andy Martino is confirming that the Mets are brining back pitching coach Jeremy Hefner. Under Hefner, the Mets’ hurlers were 15th in fWAR, with 5.1, but they had the ninth worst team ERA, with 5.01.

However, Hefner should also get credit for getting the best out of Edwin Diaz, who had an amazing season after the team as a whole put together a plan to resurrect his career after a dismal 2019. In 2020, Diaz had a 1.75 ERA and a 2.18 FIP.

The Mets’ pitching could have a rebound season in 2021

It is also true that many Mets’ pitchers had to miss time due to injury. Even ace Jacob deGrom had a start pushed; and Steven Matz suffered from shoulder bursitis, Michael Wacha and David Peterson nursed shoulder inflammation, and Dellin Betances never found his footing. Marcus Stroman opted out of the season because of COVID-related concerns.

Nevertheless, the new staff is confident that Hefner has what it takes to get the best out of the Mets’ pitchers in 2021 under circumstances closer to normal. It is also presumed that Hefner’s presence in the team was one of the main factors that convinced talented free agent reliever Trevor May to sign in New York. Hefner and May worked together with the Minnesota Twins.

There is another theory that states Hefner could also play a role in trying to convince free agent starter Jake Odorizzi to join the Mets, as the team looks for more reinforcements for the starting rotation.