Mets name 82-year-old Phil Regan in­terim pitch­ing coach

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By John Jack­son As­so­ci­ated Press

CHICAGO (AP) >> The New York Mets fired pitch­ing coach Dave Ei­land and bullpen coach Chuck Hernán­dez on Thurs­day, and named Phil Regan in­terim pitch­ing coach, Ricky Bones in­terim bullpen coach and Jeremy Ac­cardo in­terim pitch­ing strate­gist.

The team an­nounced the moves be­fore its game against the Chicago Cubs.

The 82-year-old Regan has been the Mets’ mi­nor league as­sis­tant pitch­ing co­or­di­na­tor since 2016 af­ter spend­ing 2009-15 as the pitch­ing coach for Class A St. Lu­cie of the Florida State League. The former ma­jor league pitcher man­aged the Bal­ti­more Ori­oles dur­ing the 1995 sea­son.

Bones be­gan this year as the pitch­ing coach for St. Lu­cie. He was the Mets’ bullpen coach from 2012-18.

Ac­cardo was in his first full sea­son as the Mets’ mi­nor league pitch­ing co­or­di­na­tor.

The Mets en­tered Thurs­day with a 35-39 record and in fourth place in the NL East. They ex­pected to con­tend in the di­vi­sion be­hind their pitch­ing, but had a staff ERA of 4.67, which was 20th in the ma­jors. The bullpen ERA was 5.38 over­all (28th in the ma

jors) and 8.20 since June 1.

New York also had 16 blown saves, most in the big leagues, in 33 chances.

“When we as­sessed the first 2½ months of the sea­son, in par­tic­u­lar over the course of the last sev­eral weeks, we felt the bullpen per­for­mance had a lot of room to im­prove,” gen­eral man­ager Brodie Van Wa­ge­nen said.

“I think that is the root of this move. Our be­lief is we have the tal­ent to be bet­ter than we’ve per­formed.”

Man­ager Mickey Call­away said he be­lieves Regan’s work in the or­ga­ni­za­tion made him the best can­di­date for the job.

“He’s got a pas­sion for this game, he has a pas­sion for pitch­ing and our guys are fa­mil­iar with him and re­spect the hell out of him,” Call­away said.

De­spite the strug­gles, many of the pitch­ers were caught off guard by the move.

“I was kind of shocked this morn­ing when I found out about it,” Ja­cob deGrom said. “The goal here is to win base­ball games, and we weren’t do­ing that. It seems like some­one al­ways takes the blame for some­thing like that.”

Call­away hired Ei­land when he took over be­fore last sea­son and cred­its the long­time pitch­ing coach for help­ing deGrom de­velop into a Cy Young Award win­ner last year.

Ei­land was the pitch­ing coach for a pair of World Se­ries cham­pi­ons — the 2009 New York Yan­kees and 2015 Kansas City Roy­als.

“Dave is a tremen­dous pitch­ing coach,” Call­away said. “The bot­tom line is the re­sults weren’t there. We’ve been all look­ing our­selves in the mir­ror.”

JIM YOUNG - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Mets in­terim bullpen coach Ricky Bones, right, jokes with fans dur­ing bat­ting prac­tice for the team’s base­ball game against the Chicago Cubs on Thurs­day, June 20, 2019, in Chicago.

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