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Mets fire hitting coach, release Jose Valverde following brutal loss

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

The Mets cut Jose Valverde following Monday's debacle.
The Mets cut Jose Valverde following Monday's debacle. (USATSI)

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Following their ugly 5-3 loss to the Pirates on Monday, the Mets fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens and released reliever Jose Valverde, GM Sandy Alderson announced.

Hudgens had been the team's hitting coach since the 2011 season. They came into Monday's action ranking 25th in AVG (.237), 21st in OBP (.310) and 23rd in runs (192). Lamar Johnson will take over as hitting coach. He has been a minor league hitting coordinator in the organization for years, pre-dating Alderson's tenure.

Valverde, 36, was asked to get a four-out save on Monday with Jenrry Mejia unavailable. He inherited a 2-1 lead, then allowed four runs and five of seven batters to reach base. Valverde's time with the team ends with a 5.66 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP in 20 2/3 innings.

Right-hander Vic Black is expected to be recalled to replace Valverde on the roster. He was acquired from the Pirates in last summer's Marlon Byrd trade and has a 1.45 ERA in 18 2/3 Triple-A innings.

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