The Mets promoted Eric Chavez to bench coach and Jeremy Barnes to hitting coach, a source confirmed to the Daily News.
Glenn Sherlock, who served as the Mets’ bench coach last season, will stay on staff to work with the catchers. This is not an unfamiliar role for Sherlock, who worked under manager Buck Showalter with the Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks as a catching instructor.
The Mets view this as a crucial role, especially with top prospect Francisco Alvarez hoping to contribute at the big league level next season. The 20-year-old is billed as a power-hitting catcher and the club had him working with Sherlock in the bullpen during his brief Major League call-up last season.
Sherlock joined the Mets ahead of the 2017 season to work with the catchers under former manager Terry Collins. He returned to the Mets in 2022 after a brief stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Chavez will be the Mets’ seventh bench coach in as many seasons. He has long been seen as a future manager and interviewed for the Los Angeles Angels job in 2018 before it went to Brad Ausmus. With Chavez and Barnes running the hitting program, the Mets put up the second-best OBP (.332) and the sixth-best OPS (.745) in the league last season. Jeff McNeil won the NL batting title, furthering their credentials.
Chavez, the 44-year-old former Oakland A’s star who also played for the Yankees and Diamondbacks, joined Showalter’s staff last winter. He was set to join the Yankees as their hitting coach but the Mets hired him away. He previously worked under Mets’ general manager Billy Eppler with the Yankees as a special assistant and later with the Angels in the same role. He also briefly managed the Salt Lake Bees, the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate, for part of the 2018 season after manager Keith Johnson joined the Major League staff.
This a step in the direction of managing for Chavez and an opportunity to learn from a veteran manager like Showalter, who recently won his fourth manager of the year award with his fourth team.