The Mets have fired hitting coach Chili Davis and assistant hitting coach Tom Slater, Tim Britton of The Athletic was among those to report. Minor league hitting coordinator Hugh Quattlebaum will take over for Davis, and farm director Kevin Howard will succeed Slater.
The Mets made this decision in the wake of a 6-5 loss to St. Louis that dropped them to a disappointing 11-12. A mediocre offensive performance has played a role in the Mets’ slow start, as their hitters currently rank 17th in the majors in wRC+ (96). Prized offseason pickup Francisco Lindor, whom the Mets acquired from the Indians and then signed to a 10-year, $341 million extension, has slumped over the Mets’ first 23 games. Likewise, outfielder/first baseman Dominic Smith has fallen flat after an excellent showing in 2020, as has $40 million free-agent signing James McCann.
Of course, it’s debatable how much blame Davis and Slater deserve for the above players’ struggles. It’s also worth noting J.D. Davis (who went on the 10-day injured list Monday), Brandon Nimmo and Pete Alonso have all gotten off to great starts. Regardless, the Mets are taking their coaching staff in another direction in hopes of breaking a four-year playoff drought.
In Davis, the Mets are saying goodbye to a former big-league slugger whom they hired before 2019, when Mickey Callaway – not Luis Rojas – was their manager. Before that, Davis worked as the hitting coach for the Cubs, who relieved him of duties after the 2018 campaign. Slater joined the Mets’ staff as their assistant hitting coach a year earlier than Davis.