The New York Mets announced on Tuesday that pitching coach Jeremy Hefner will return for the 2022 season.
“Jeremy has done an outstanding job of working with the entire pitching staff and they’ve all benefitted from his leadership and expertise,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said. “He has blended analytics with his knowledge to provide players with tools for individual and team success.”
The 35-year-old looks to be the lone holdover of a coaching shakeup that has seen manager Luis Rojas and the rest of the staff dismissed by the Mets.
During his second year as pitching coach in 2021, Hefner helped lead the Mets’ staff to top-10 finishes in ERA (3.90, ninth in MLB), strikeout percentage (25.1%, fifth in MLB), walk percentage (8.2%, ninth in MLB), WHIP (1.23, seventh in MLB) and hits per nine innings (7.97, 10th in MLB).
“I’m extremely excited to continue working with this group and build on the systems and practices we’ve implemented,” Hefner said. “I saw a lot of development from the rotation and bullpen and am very optimistic for even more success from the pitching staff moving forward.”
While the pitching coach is secure, the Mets’ pitching outlook ahead of the 2022 season remains murky.
Marcus Stroman, who is coming off a career year in 2020, will hit free agency while the book is still out on whether or not the team will extend a qualifying offer to Noah Syndergaard after a long and arduous comeback from Tommy John surgery.
Jacob deGrom will try to put a 2020 season filled with injuries behind him; one that derailed a pitching campaign that was on pace to be one of the greatest ever in the modern era. Carlos Carrasco also will be looking to put together a full season after a limited year that provided a litany of first-inning troubles while Taijuan Walker fell off the rails in the second half after posting an All-Star worthy three months.