Mets Pitching Coach List Should Include Ruben Niebla
Now that Mickey Callaway was named as the 21st manager in Mets history, both he and the Mets now begin the process of building a coaching staff around him. That process includes hiring a new pitching coach to replace Dan Warthen.
So far, we have heard the Mets are considering a number of names including Dave Righetti, Dave Eiland, and Chris Bosio. Other candidates who were considered were Mike Maddux and Jim Hickey, who have taken jobs elsewhere, and Ricky Bones, who is rumored to be joining Alex Cora‘s staff in Boston.
The Mets have certainly compiled an impressive list. However, one name is missing from that list whom the Mets should consider – Ruben Niebla.
In 2013, Callaway and Niebla would swap roles for the Indians. With Callaway being promoted to become the Major League pitching coach, Niebla would become the minor league pitching coordinator after serving as the Indians interim pitching coach. As a tandem, the two have helped build the impressive Indians pitching staff.
With respect to Kluber, Niebla is the one who was pinpointed for taking the pitcher to the next level. The moment began when Niebla one day said to Kluber, “We want you to try throwing a two-seamer.” (Washington Post).
From that point forward, Kluber’s stock rose, and he’s now a perennial Cy Young contender. That moment began when Niebla not only made the suggestion, but also showed Kluber his preferred grip.
In fact, if you look at the Indians staff, many throw Niebla’s two seamer. That two seamer has helped the Indians post the best team ERA in the majors.
If this pitch is truly responsible for part of the success of these pitchers, we may soon hear the Niebla two seamer in the same breath of the “Warthen Slider.” For that to happen, Niebla needs a chance.
As reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Niebla has drawn interest in a major league coaching position. While the Mets have not been linked to Niebla, they very well might soon be with the hiring of Callaway.
Certainly, there’s already a level of report between Callaway and Niebla. The question is whether it’s enough for Callaway to want to bring him aboard. It’s also a question if the Mets want to give him that job.
Overall, it seems like Niebla may very well get a job as a pitching coach this offseason. With the Mets hiring Callaway, presumably in large part due to his work with Indians pitchers, the Mets should take a long look at the coach who helped Callaway make those pitchers so successful.
Editor’s Note: This was first published on MMO