Terry Collins and incoming bench coach Ken Oberkfell and hitting coach Dave Hudgens had a conference call with beat writers on Monday night. Here are items from that session:
• Hudgens, who actually managed Josh Thole in winter ball last offseason with Caracas, said he is not going to go over-the-top preaching walks. More so, it will be about plate discipline. "I think there's a perception there of what type of philosophy we'll have," Hudgens said. "But the main thing to win games is you have to get on base. Whatever the philosophy is, whatever the type of hitter it is, we've got to have a good approach. The thing we're going to teach -- and demand, really, of the players, and get also their input [on] -- is what it's going to take for us to win ballgames and what is it going to take for us to get on base and have a good approach at the plate. Not giving at-bats away. Make fewer easy outs. Make the opposing pitcher work. How we can develop a good strike zone? How do we learn our strengths? There are a whole lot of things that go into it. But the bottom line is getting a good pitch to hit and staying aggressive. We don't want these guys to be unaggressive, looking for walks. I'll very rarely, if ever, talk about walks. But the philosophy is to be aggressive -- really under control -- and knowing your strike zone and knowing your strengths."
• Oberkfell should be a good contrast to Collins in terms of being laid back, but the new bench coach added: "I'm supposedly laid back, but I get a little riled up at times." Collins recalled Oberkfell recently getting into it with an umpire in the Dominican Republic. As for waiting for a full-time role on the major league staff while spending six years as the organization's Triple-A manager, Oberkfell said: "I'm very, very happy to get this opportunity to be on Terry's staff. I've been in the organization for more than 12 years."
• The Mets will not have a Hispanic coach on the official staff, a departure from recent seasons -- really since Roberto Alomar complained many years ago that the club wasn't sensitive enough to Latin American players. The Mets could end up with an unofficial coach of Hispanic descent, who is not in uniform during games. The Mets at one point recently had Sandy Alomar Jr. as technically a bullpen catcher, although he really was a second bullpen coach. "We're going to continue to work on it," Collins said.
• Hudgens on Citi Field's spaciousness and the Mets' recent lack of homers: "I don't think we need to worry about hitting home runs. That's something that comes with good swings."
• Mookie Wilson will coach the outfield, but Collins said he wants all of his coaches instructing on anything if they see things --not let only one person assigned to that area handle it.
• Beyond Thole, Hudgens does not know the players, so he has requested video to study in advance of spring training.