Monday, May 26, 2014
Mets News: Hitting Coach Dave Hudgens Fired, Mets Let Go Jose Valverde
The Mets made a pair of dismissals Monday, firing hitting coach Dave Hudgens and releasing reliever Jose Valverde, after a 5-3 defeat against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Memorial Day.
Hudgens, a longtime colleague of general manager Sandy Alderson, was in his fourth season as hitting coach. He will be replaced by Lamar Johnson, who had been the organization's minor league hitting coordinator for the past decade.
Johnson, 63, served as a major league hitting coach from 1995 through 2003 with the Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners. He had a nine-year career as a first baseman, primarily with the Chicago White Sox.
The Mets are 7-17 in May despite relatively solid starting pitching. The team is batting a collective .237 with a .310 on-base percentage this season. The Mets have failed to drive in a run in their last nine at-bats with the bases loaded. They grounded into five double plays in Game 1 of a doubleheader Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, matching the franchise record for a nine-inning game.