The Mets are expected to hire Eric Hinske as their new assistant hitting coach, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). As Rosenthal points out, Mets GM Billy Eppler also hired Hinske to serve as the Angels’ hitting coach for the 2018 season, back when Eppler was the general manager in Anaheim (though Hinske was replaced after just one year in that role).
Hinske, 45, was the American League Rookie of the Year for the Blue Jays in 2002 when he batted .279/.365/.481 with 24 home runs, 38 doubles and a pair of triples. He went on to enjoy a 12-year career playing at the MLB level, splitting up that time among the Jays, Red Sox, Braves, Rays, D-backs, Pirates and Yankees. In 4310 career big league plate appearances, Hinske hit .249/.332/.430 with 137 home runs, 240 doubles, a 10.5% walk rate and a 22% strikeout rate while logging time at third base, first base and in both outfield corners.
Since retiring, Hinske has worked in a variety of coaching roles throughout the league. In addition to his stint as Angels’ hitting coach, he’s also been the assistant hitting coach for both the D-backs and the Cubs (including during their 2016 World Series win). Hinske also served as Chicago’s first base coach prior to his time as assistant hitting coach at Wrigley.
Hinske’s hiring comes on the heels of some other coaching maneuvering by the Mets earlier in the winter. Hitting coach Eric Chavez was promoted to bench coach under manager Buck Showalter back in November, and in a corresponding move, then-assistant hitting coach Jeremy Barnes was elevated to the title of hitting coach.