Joey Cora Not Great Third Base Coach Hire
On the bright side, Cora has the experience and pedigree. He’s a baseball lifer and well respected in the game. He was a gamer who brings the same attitude as a coach.
As a coach, he has mostly been tied to Ozzie Guillen. First, it was the Chicago White Sox, where they won the 2005 World Series. Then, it was the Miami Marlins where Guillen imploded leading the Marlins to clean house.
Notably, Cora wasn’t too big to return to the minors and work his way back up to the majors. That’s exactly what he did leading to his serving the last five years as the Pittsburgh Pirates third base and infield coach.
As the infield coach, Cora was well respected and had a strong impact. When you’re a Mets team with J.D. Davis, Eduardo Escobar, and to a certain extent, Jeff McNeil (ignoring positioning cards and Mets unwillingness to play him at third), Cora is a significant upgrade who can provide a strong impact.
However, that’s only part of it, albeit the most important part of it. Cora was also hired to be the third base coach.
If you were a Mets fan justifiably frustrated with the indecisive and inept Gary Disarcina, things aren’t getting better. In fact, against all odds, it could be getting worse.
Pirates Ranks with Joey Cora (2017-2021):
· Extra Bases Taken Percentage: T-23rd
· Outs on Base at Home: T-30th
· Percentage of Successful Advances of a Runner on 2nd Base on a Hit: 30th
— Mets Metrics (@MetsMetrics) January 4, 2022
Really, seeing his work at third, you really have to wonder why the Mets hired him for the role. While the competition for his services is unknown, you wonder if the Mets needed him that much.
Understandably, the Mets are going in another direction for the bench coach. They need a more analytically inclined individual to buttress Showalter. In the case of Clayton McCullough, you get the added benefit of grooming a potential future manager.
Whatever the thought process, the Mets are better today. Cora is a good baseball man and asset to any organization. That said, some of what his brings will be offset by putting him at third where he is a detriment to the team. It just makes you wonder if there was another role other than third they could’ve offered him.