Mets hitting coach Chili Davis off-site when camp opens
NEW YORK (AP) — Hitting coach Chili Davis will keep on working remotely when the New York Mets open summer training camp Friday.
The New York Post was first to report that the 60-year-old Davis won’t be on site at Citi Field for the beginning of practices because of concerns about the coronavirus.
“The timeline for him to join us is uncertain yet,” new Mets manager Luis Rojas said on a video call Thursday.
The Post, citing unidentified sources in its report, said Davis does not have the virus.
Rojas said all other coaches and players have reported for intake screening. Assistant hitting coach Tom Slater will substitute on site for Davis, who lives in Arizona during the offseason. Minor league hitting coordinator Ryan Ellis will assist Slater.
“I think we’re going to get the best of Chili whether he’s with us at the start of camp or whether he’s working remotely. I mean, we’re in constant communication. Chili and I practically talk every day and he’s in communication with the coaches,” Rojas said.
“So, he’s going to be helping us. He’s a great asset, he’s got great knowledge, great experience. He helps the players with hitting, with playing the game. He helps the coaches as well with his view of the game. So he is going to be working remotely and we’re going to feel his presence.”
Davis is entering his second season as Mets hitting coach after holding the same position with Oakland, Boston and the Chicago Cubs. He played 19 seasons in the majors from 1981-99, batting .274 with 350 home runs, 1,372 RBIs and an .811 OPS with the Giants, Angels, Twins, Royals and Yankees.
The switch-hitter made three All-Star teams, won three World Series championships and was the first player born in Jamaica to reach the major leagues.