The Mets have released Jose Valverde and fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin reports (Twitter links). Vic Black is expected to replace Valverde on the Mets’ active roster, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets. Hudgens will be replaced by minor-league hitting coordinator Lamar Johnson.
Valverde allowed four runs while blowing a save in the Mets’ 5-3 loss to the Pirates Monday. He had a 5.66 ERA with 23 strikeouts and 10 walks in 20 2/3 innings this season after the Mets signed him to a minor-league deal in February. The 36-year-old has also pitched for the Diamondbacks, Astros and Tigers in his 12-year big-league career, racking up 288 saves. His career began heading downhill with the Tigers in 2012, and he posted a 5.59 ERA in 19 1/3 innings before being released by Detroit last season. His fastball has lost velocity over the years, falling from 95.8 MPH in 2009 to 92.8 MPH in 2013 and 2014.
Hudgens had served as the Mets’ hitting coach since 2011. The Mets’ offense currently ranks 10th in the National League in runs scored and has endured poor seasons from Ruben Tejada and Lucas Duda, as well as disappointing performances from newcomers Curtis Granderson and Chris Young.