Though the fading Mets axed a pair of pitching coaches yesterday, reports indicate that skipper Mickey Callaway is likely to remain at the helm through season’s end. Mike Puma of the New York Post said yesterday that Callaway is considered safe barring a full-blown devolution of the season, while Andy Martino of SNY.tv writes much the same today.
It wasn’t long ago that Callaway was said to be on the hot seat. But GM Brodie Van Wagenen came in with a vote of confidence and hasn’t backed down publicly since in his support for the skipper. Puma writes that COO Jeff Wilpon “remains [Callaway’s] strongest backer in the organization.” Since Wilpon writes the checks, there won’t be a change at the helm of the dugout unless he says so.
Things certainly haven’t improved since they last came to a head in mid-May. The club has hovered at .500 ball since, but that hasn’t helped jump-start a move in the standings. The Mets sit five games under the mean and nine games back of the Braves. They were just passed by a Nationals team that dug a deeper hole but has been on a nice run of late.
None of that is terribly encouraging. The club remains in need of some kind of jolt — or just better, more consistent across-the-board play. But it seems the Mets’ top brass has decided that canning Callaway isn’t likely to spur improvement. Van Wagenen issued another public vote of confidence in the wake of the pitching coach change, saying that Callaway “has my full-blown confidence.”
There’s certainly an argument to be made that a managerial change isn’t the right way to go, though one could’ve said the same of the interim step of swapping out coaches. And it’s frankly not clear what can be done at the moment. As Marc Carig of The Athletic wrote this morning (subscription link), the “brunt of th[e] failure rests on the shoulders of Van Wagenen.” The new GM’s early moves haven’t worked out as hoped; now, he’ll have to deal with a complicated roster situation.