Mets Should Hire Niebla Or Bere As Pitching Coach

With the Mets hiring Mickey Callaway as their new manager, they now have to hire someone to succeed Dan Warthen as the team’s pitching coach.  When making this hire, the Mets have to walk a fine line here.  First and foremost, they need someone who is going to help the Mets pitching staff pitch to the best of their ability.  Close behind, they need someone who is going to work well with Callaway.

Rationally speaking, that would be an individual that has worked with Callaway in the past.

The overriding reason why Callaway got the Mets managerial job is because of his work with the Indians pitching staff since the 2013 season.  During that time, Callaway has certainly developed not just a style of working with pitchers, but also a philosophy.  As the manager of the Mets, he is likely going to want to see his philosophy instilled into this Mets pitching staff.

If it isn’t, it could create some problems.  As is human nature, if Callaway does not believe his message is getting through to the pitchers through his pitching coach, he is more likely going to meddle.  That will have repercussions.  One such repercussion is his pitching staff may now be getting conflicting messages causing them to struggle, if they weren’t struggling already.  Another potential issue is while Callaway is addressing the pitching staff, he may be distracted from handling his other managerial duties.  Certainly, there could be other issues with far more reaching implications.

The best way to counteract these issues is for the Mets to hire a pitching coach who has had a working relationship with Callaway.  Certainly, if a rapport already exists between Callaway and the new pitching coach, it would ensure things work out as smoothly as possible when it comes to Callaway getting his message across to his pitching staff.

This will also help ease the transition for Callaway from pitching coach to manager.  It is important the Mets do this as Callaway has no professional managerial experience.

Fortunately for the Mets, there are two pitching coach candidates available for the Mets who have previously worked with Callaway.  The first is Jason Bere, who was the bullpen coach for the Indians the past three seasons.  With Callaway and Bere coaching the Indians pitching staff, the Indians have had the best American League in the American League and third best in baseball during that time span.  During that same 2015 – 2017 time span, the Indians led the American League in strikeouts.  For a Mets staff that struggled with walks last year, it should also be noted the Indians had the fewest walks allowed in the majors over that time frame.

Now, if Callaway and/or the Mets don’t see Bere as a fit, the team should look to the Indians Minor League Pitching Coordinator Ruben Niebla.  As previously noted, it was Niebla who helped cultivate the talented Indians pitching staff that Callaway and Bere coached so effectively at the Major League Level.

In the end, the pitching coach hire is the most important one the Mets will make for Callaway’s pitching staff.  They need someone who is not only going to help their pitchers, they need someone who is going to help Callaway succeed.  Unless Callaway does not want to hire Bere or Niebla, the Mets should be doing all they possibly can do to bring them in and help their manager and pitching staff have all the tools they need to succeed.

Ideally, the Mets would bring on both Bere and Niebla on board as the Mets have vacancies at both pitching and bullpen coach.  After all, if you are looking to replicate what the Indians had when you hired Callaway, you might as well bring everyone responsible for their success to the Mets.