The Mets announced on Monday night that the club had removed Chilean Davis and assistant coach Tom Slater from active duty with immediate effect. The club has named Hugh Quattlebaum, the team’s new coach, and the new assistant coach Kevin Howard. The two will be in St. Louis on Tuesday.
Acting General Manager Zac Scott said the decision was not driven by the production value of 23 games, but wanted a coach who understood “the process under the hood”.
“This was a really difficult decision,”; Scott said, “but the reason we felt it was the right decision was more on the vision of how we wanted our Major League beating program to be. I won’t go too deeply into those details to reveal what that vision is required. But there are some things you know
“A lot of the things I’ve been doing since being here are evaluating the processes that go through before the game when they’re struggling with those things. I think our job is to support players and put them in a position to succeed as a baseball operation group. We felt that players needed a different level of support and brought in some different skills. ”
Scott says both Quattlebaum and Howard are in Spring Training and build relationships with players both on the off-field and on the pitch. He feels confident that bringing these two coaches to the major league level will have a long-term impact on the team and begin long-term lasting success.
Both the new coach and assistant coach will be with the team for the next six months – until the end of the season – but the Mets have made no long-term promises. After what Scott had hoped for was a long post-season, the team will reassess the need.
“This is not about the latest results. But it’s about the behind-the-scenes process, ”Scott said. I mean it’s not about that. It is too early to respond to a small sample of the results. And the assessment for me, based on a lot of my own research and observations, is that we can get better. And this is a step towards that point. “
Quattlebaum, 42, joined the Mets organization this season as Minor League director in the development of the hit. He spent the previous three seasons with Seattle Quattlebaum as the Mariners’ Minor League group hitter coordinator for 2018-2019 and was an assistant hitting coach with the Major League team sometime in the year 2020. Working with the Mariners, he coached and mentored in Southern California, Quattlebaum was drafted by Detroit in the 25th round of 2000 MLB Draft from Amherst College (MA). He spent four years in the Tigers Minor League system (2000-2002) and Orioles (2003)
Howard, 39, joined Mets this year as director of corporate player development. He has spent the previous six seasons at the Cleveland organization, including 2019-2020 as a Minor League hitting coordinator. Howard played professionally for 12 seasons, playing for the Reds, Yankees, Eagles, Dodgers, Mariners, Dre, Bluejays and Cardinals, before spending the final two years of his freelance career. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2003 MLB draft by Cincinnati. Howard holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Miami, where he played college-level baseball for three seasons, winning the national championship in 2001.
Davis is in his third season as the Mets’ hitting coach, and Slater is in his fourth season as the team’s assistant coach.
Davis and Scott both worked together in the Red Sox organization – Davis served as hitting coaches from 2014-2017 while Scott worked in the front desk. Scott emphasizes that he has great respect for both Slater and Davis, and that the history between them made this decision even more difficult.
“Those people work hard, not about working hard,” Scott said. “It might seem at the beginning of the calendar. But part of the reason is that we know there is a risk of change. These two are two very favorite baseball players and good baseball men. Have a good relationship with the players, they like these people. I know we know the risks and make changes and hamper what has happened since spring training and beyond last season. But we feel it’s worth taking the risk to get to the point where we want to be in our major league program. ”