Mickey Callaway was probably working on “Things To Do’’ list the moment he talked to Sandy Alderson on the phone asking his interest in managing the Mets. Odds are, he went over the list during the interview.
Here’s what I’m guessing is on that list:
Meet with Alderson: Callaway and Alderson will meet to discuss among other things: what went wrong in 2017 for the Mets; issues Alderson must be consulted on; the coaching staff; injuries; pitching issues; preliminary roster evaluation; and spring training.
Coaching staff: Everybody wants to know who Callaway will choose to be pitching coach. Much was made about collaboration at yesterday’s introductory press conference. Will Callaway have free reign? Not on all matters, but it’s doubtful Alderson will bully him on that choice. If Callaway has a name in mind, I’m guessing Alderson won’t stand in his way.
Callaway hopes to develop his coaching staff the same way Terry Francona did in Cleveland.
“[Francona] empowered me to do everything I could to make us the most successful staff we could be,’’ Callaway said. “I realized very quickly that I’m not just a pitching coach, I have to manage all these people and their personalities. I know there’s a process for that.’’
Odds are hitting coach Kevin Long won’t be back. He’ll interview to replace Dusty Baker in Washington, where he’ll undoubtedly get a hearty endorsement from Daniel Murphy.
Since this is Callaway’s first managerial assignment – and let’s hope it lasts for a decade or more – he’ll need a strong bench coach, one not to be afraid to voice his opinion and be a yes man.
Talk with the players: Callaway said at least a half-dozen times he plans to tell the players he cares about them. Presumably, that will include talking with Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes about their off-season workout programs that resulted in season-ending injuries.
Callaway and his pitching coach will undoubtedly spend a lot of time talking with the staff. He’ll ask pointed questions trying to ascertain the cause of the injuries. For Syndergaard that would mean his off-season weight training and for Matt Harvey that would mean being rushed back.
Evaluate the roster: He and Alderson will evaluate the current roster as to ascertain holes and needs. Considering the pitching injuries, that would likely include adding a starter and another reliever.
Among the first things they’ll have to determine is the likelihood of Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Cespedes and Michael Conforto will be ready for spring training.
Preliminary decisions could also be made on Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera.
Find another Miller: Unfortunately, they won’t get the real Andrew Miller, but Callaway will look at his relievers in the hope finding the Mets’ best facsimile. That might also include considering starters Harvey, Wheeler, Rafael Montero, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman for that role.
Baseball has changed and that includes bullpen roles. Francona and Callaway were on the cutting edge with how they used Miller so you’ll have to presume he’ll bring that role to New York.
Defining an offensive philosophy: Alderson loves Sabermetrics, which emphasize home runs at the cost of strikeouts.
Cleveland’s offense incorporated power with situational hitting, a high on-base percentage and speed. I hope Callaway brings some of that to the Mets.
Living solely on power hasn’t gotten it done for the Mets.