In addition, Callaway will now become one of the youngest managers in the majors. That in itself will mark a significant change for the Mets, who had the oldest manager in the majors in 2017 in Terry Collins, who turned 68 in May. Collins stepped down last month after seven years in the job. The longtime Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen was also not retained for next season.
Callaway will also be only the second manager Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson has worked with in New York. While Collins was not as well versed in modern baseball analytics as Alderson is, and although there was friction between Collins and the front office during his tenure, he and Alderson worked relatively well together and took the Mets to the World Series in 2015.
Now Alderson will start over with Callaway, who will give the Mets a new perspective as they try to deal with their vexing pitching problems, many of which have involved physical setbacks to young pitchers with considerable talent.
The victims in 2017 included Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Only Jacob deGrom went unscathed. It was a key reason the Mets had a team E.R.A. of 5.01 in 2017, the second worst in team history.
Meanwhile, the Indians had a team E.R.A. of 3.30 in 2017. Cleveland’s talented pitching staff was one reason the Indians made it to the World Series in 2016 and finished with 102 victories this season before losing in a division series to the Yankees.
Callaway is from Tennessee and played in college at the University of Mississippi. In his major league career, he generally worked out of the bullpen, spending time with Tampa Bay, Anaheim and Texas. He pitched professionally in South Korea and Taiwan before retiring as a player.
As a coach, he worked his way up through the Indians’ farm system before landing the major league pitching coach job in 2013. Over all during Callaway’s tenure, the Indians ranked fourth in the majors in E.R.A. and were No. 1 in some advanced metrics.
During his playing and coaching career, Callaway learned from some of baseball’s most experienced managers. In Anaheim, he played for Mike Scioscia. In Texas, he played for Buck Showalter. In Cleveland, he coached under Terry Francona and worked with a front office that leaned heavily on modern analytics.
“He’s wise beyond his years,” Francona said of Callaway late this season. “He is confident — and when I say confident, I mean confident enough to collaborate with others. He’ll take information and sift through it and take what he wants. He’s very good.”
In an interview with The New York Times in August, Callaway spoke about the Indians’ approach to all aspects of their pitching staff. “Everybody’s input is valued,” he said, “and then we make the best decision we can out of everything that’s out there, no matter who’s presenting it. We’re willing to listen, and if it makes sense, we’ll implement it in our program.”
To land the managing job with the Mets, Callaway emerged from a group of candidates that included Manny Acta, a former Washington Nationals and Indians manager; Joe McEwing, a former Mets utility player and the current Chicago White Sox coach; Alex Cora, a Houston Astros coach who was hired as Boston’s manager on Sunday; and Kevin Long, the Mets’ well-liked hitting coach, whose future with the team is now unclear.
After the season ended, Alderson said he would give Long consideration for the position but had hoped to retain him dependent on the outcome of the managerial search.
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