Todayâ€™s â€œMake it or Break itâ€ looks at pitching coach Dan Warthen.
The 2009 Mets had a laundry list of issues that lead to their abysmal season (injuries, adjusting to new ballpark, more injuries, terrible organizational depth and structure), and need to address a multitude of problems this off-season. It is the front office’s job to find out, based on the results of this season, who from our current roster and coaching staff will perform, who can be counted on to get the job done next year. And watching all of Dan Warthenâ€™s pitchers getting hammered day in and day out, and looking completely lost on the mound after we have seen these same pitchers perform much better in previous seasons with different coaches, then it is time for the people in charge to look simply at the failures of Warthen, and give him his walking papers.
Letâ€™s look at the numbers. In Warthenâ€™s first full season in Flushing (through
Sundayâ€™s game), the Mets team ERA is 4.53, 8th worst in the majors. They have walked 600 batters. They are among the league worst in K/9, WHIP, and opponents OPS. Met pitcherâ€™s VORP is 27th in the majors. Putting it in perspective, their hitterâ€™s VORP is 9th. These numbers are not good. They are terrible, actually. The numbers only tell part of the story. Letâ€™s look at Warthenâ€™s track record and see why it is obvious the Mets need a changing of the guard at pitching coach.
Once seen as key cogs to the Met staff, Ollie Perez and Mike Pelfrey have noticeably regressed under Warthenâ€™s tutelage. Other Met hurlers have been wildly inconsistent throughout the season, failing to locate their pitches, and giving up runs in droves when they do. In two of his previous Major League stints as a pitching coach, the teams that let him go improved greatly after his departure (Seattle from 1992-1993, San Diego from 1997 to their World Series appearance in 1998). Dan leaves, team gets better. Simple enough. Warthen was also a human walk machine as a professional hurler, issuing out 198 walks in 307 innings. Seems as if his talent for not throwing strikes is rubbing off on his pupils. No bueno.
The worst part about Warthen (other than the fact that it is rather obvious Met pitchers straight up don’t like the guy)? He doesnâ€™t hold himself accountable for his poor performance. In an article by Brian Costa of the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Warthen blames the injuries to Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran and the inexperience of Met catchers for the poor pitching this season. He also says he will fix the staff by charting and hanging up pitchers strike percentages, a visible reminder of what they need to work on. A man with a poor history, a terrible season coaching the Mets, and a plan that is akin to a 3rd grade teacher hanging up gold stars whenever Jimmy or Susie throws a ball over a plate. The Mets, in my opinion, must make the right move, remove Dan Warthen from their plans in 2010 and replace him with someone who can do the job better. What are your thoughts, fellow Met fans? Does anybody want to see