Mets Need To Fire Joey Cora
When discussing Joey Cora, we need to remember this was a coach who was terminated in-season by a last place Pittsburgh Pirates team. At the time of his firing, he was the worst third base coach in the game.
That really has been no different with the Mets. We’ve seen a number of occasions where Cora has made dumb sends and bad reads. However, you could live with it if Cora was helping the Mets in other areas.
With the demotion of Brett Baty to Triple-A, we see Cora has not been helping the Mets either as a third base or infield coach.
One of the reasons Baty was called up to the majors was his glove was significantly better than Eduardo Escobar‘s. When he first was called up, he was hitting and playing the field well. At one point, Baty was up to a 2 OAA at third.
However, after working with Cora nearly all season long, he dropped to a -6 OAA. Baty went from a very good defender to one of the three worst defensive third baseman in the majors. If this was just a Baty issue, we could move along. However, it goes far deeper than Baty.
When J.D. Davis was with the Mets, he was a horrendous defender with part of that being his outfield play. Cora worked with Davis, and he did not improve in the slightest. However, Davis went to the San Francisco Giants where he has been a very good defensive third baseman.
The year before Buck Showalter took over and brought along Cora, Pete Alonso had made terrific strides at first base. He went from a poor defender to an 8 OAA, which was outstanding growth. Since working with Cora, Alonso has been a -8 OAA.
We did seen Luis Guillorme and Jeff McNeil have very good defensive seasons in what was the last year of the shift. This year, both players have regressed defensively, which is one of many issues which has plagued the Mets this season.
What’s funny is with Baty now in Triple-A, it looks like the Mets aren’t even going to try with Mark Vientos. After Baty was demoted, Vientos was in the lineup as the DH with the Mets putting Danny Mendick at third.
Now, Vientos has long had a reputation as a poor defensive third baseman. The assumption is he will have to wind up at first or DH in the long run (partially because of the presence of Alonso). When Baty was up, it made sense to work on Vientos as a DH.
However, Baty struggled to the point where he had to be demoted in a lost season for the Mets. If we’re being honest, he at least puts into question whether he is truly the third baseman of the future, which should permit the Mets to look in different directions.
That could include Ronny Mauricio, who is stuck in the minors and drowning while he looks for a position other than short. However, that should also include Vientos. You would think having a coach with as much experience as Cora would lead the team to have the duo work very closely between now and the end of the season.
You’d much rather two options at third than potentially none.
Unfortunately, it seems the Mets don’t trust Vientos at third, which is understandable. A corollary to that is the Mets don’t trust Cora making Vientos into a capable third baseman. That, too, is understandable. It’s also another reason why the Mets need to get rid of Cora.