Earlier today, the Mets announced that Ken Oberkfell, Chip Hale, Mookie Wilson and Jon Debus will not return to the major league club for the 2012 season. Tim Teufel will take over as Third Base Coach and Ricky Bones will become Bullpen Coach. Hitting Coach Dave Hudgens and Pitching Coach Dan Warthen have been retained in the same positions for next season.
Hale signed a two-year contract to become Bob Melvin’s bench coach with the A’s.
After the announcement, both Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson held a conference call with reporters to discuss changes to the coaching staff and basically said:
- They both anticipated Chip Hale’s departure.
- Regarding Jon Debus, he has been offered a position in the organization; but they felt his catching background wasn’t suitable in a bullpen coach role, and they would like someone with a better pitching background.
- On Ken Oberkfell, he was not offered a position within the organization; but they felt a different skill set than he had was required for the bench coach role.
- Terry said he is looking for experience and a strong familiarity with players from both leagues in a new bench coach.
- Both Sandy and Terry feel Mookie Wilson is more valuable in other areas of the organization, but they have yet to discuss such opportunities with him.
- On Dan Warthen, Terry said the pitchers have a great relationship with him and there were positives extracted from the pitchers this season.
- Wally Backman is probably NOT in the mix for a role at the major league level, but could be in line to replace Tim Teufel as manager at Triple-A Buffalo.
- Sandy feels Backman is a great motivator and did an outstanding job in Double-A Binghamton this year.
- Sandy has been impressed with Ricky Bones since Spring Training, and felt there was a chance he might depart the organization if not promoted to the big league level with the Mets.
According to Andy Martino of the Daily News, Oberkfell was surprised by the team’s decision, but holds no hard feelings; and, though it’s not yet clear if Wilson will accept a role inside the organization, there were concerns over Wilson’s work preparing the outfield defense (especially that of Lucas Duda).
To listen to the entire conference call, click the play button below: