Mets Hire 82-Year-Old Ex-Sandy Koufax Teammate Phil Regan as Pitching Coach

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2019

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 07:  New York Mets assistant minor league pitching coordinator Phil Regan throws batting practice before a game between the Mets and the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on April 7, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The New York Mets certainly thought outside the box when it came to their replacement for pitching coach Dave Eiland. 

The New York Times' James Wagner reported Thursday the Mets were firing Eiland, and they wasted no time identifying his successor. According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, New York has hired Phil Regan.

Regan, 82, was an active MLB player from 1960 to 1972 and spent two-and-a-half seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, pitching on the same staff as Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Don Sutton.

Regan's age obviously makes this an eye-catching hire. Not only was Regan alive when the Mets celebrated their first World Series title in 1969, he faced off against them seven times that season.

Tim Healey @timbhealey

When I woke up today, I did not anticipate seeking out the box score for the 1966 MLB All-Star Game. But here we are. Phil Regan, the Mets' new pitching coach, was an All-Star that year. https://t.co/QAmvRHMuV1

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

You can accuse the Mets of a lot of things but ageism isn’t one of them. New pitching coach Phil Regan got his AARP card in 1987.

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe

82-year-old Phil Regan, the new Mets pitching coach, made his MLB debut in 1960 with the Tigers. His manager that day, Jimmy Dykes, was born in 1896.

Some teams could get away with hiring an 82-year-old for a major role on the coaching staff.

The Mets don't exactly deserve the benefit of the doubt, though. A new front office has done little to bring stability to the organization, and a change in ownership is probably the only thing that will stop the dysfunction that has plagued New York for years.

Having said that, finding a good pitching coach in the middle of the season isn't easy. The Mets are four games under .500, too, with a 12.5 percent chance of reaching the postseason on FanGraphs.

As much as improving the pitching staff will help, that won't solve the aforementioned structural issues or address a lineup that's 17th in weighted on-base average (.320), per FanGraphs.

Regan will have a strong level of rapport with many of the Mets' pitchers through his time with the High-A St. Lucie Mets and stint as a minor league pitching coordinator in the organization.

While this move is easy to ridicule, bringing an experienced coach aboard for the remainder of the year before looking for a long-term solution makes sense for the Mets.