Chavez promoted to Mets' bench coach

December 1st, 2022

NEW YORK -- Following a year in which he received significant credit for a change in the Mets’ offensive philosophy, hitting coach Eric Chavez is moving closer to manager Buck Showalter as his bench coach.

Chavez will shift positions while assistant hitting coach Jeremy Barnes becomes the hitting coach, in a move designed to keep Barnes in the organization. The team has yet to announce its full 2023 coaching staff under Showalter.

Asked about the shakeup, general manager Billy Eppler indicated that the Mets were at risk of losing Barnes to another organization. Rather than let that happen, they chose to promote Barnes, shift Chavez to bench coach and move Glenn Sherlock to a catching instructor's position.

Sherlock has a longstanding relationship with Showalter that goes back decades, and Eppler painted his role in the coaching shakeup as essential.

"It was really a lot of Glenn," Eppler said. "He recognized what we could do ... that we had to put Jeremy in the No. 1 hitting role. We felt good about it. [Chavez] felt good about it, and Buck felt good about it. But it doesn't happen without Glenn. He deserves that shoutout and that credit."

Chavez, 44, came to the Mets last offseason after Eppler lured him away from an assistant position on the Yankees’ dugout staff. Eppler and Chavez became close when they were both members of the Yankees’ organization in the early 2010s.

Barnes is a holdover from the previous regime, which hired him as a player development staffer before Eppler moved him into the clubhouse as Chavez’s assistant.

Under Chavez and Barnes, the Mets constructed one of the best batting averages with runners in scoring position early in the season, among other feats. Although the team lacked home run power relative to other teams, New York finished tied for fifth in the Majors with 4.77 runs per game.

Elsewhere on the staff, pitching coach Jeremy Hefner is expected back in the same role. The Mets plan to announce their full coaching staff at a later date.