Mets hire Rick Peterson as pitching coach

Updated: November 5, 2003, 5:19 PM ET

FLUSHING, New York - Rick Peterson, who has overseen the development of the superb staff of the Oakland Athletics, was named pitching coach of the New York Mets on Wednesday.

The move is both a homecoming and reunion for Peterson, who was born and lives in New Jersey and again teams with manager Art Howe.

In slightly more than a year, the Mets have taken Howe and Peterson from Athletics general manager Billy Beane.

"I'm thrilled about the chance to come back home and work with the Mets," Peterson said. "I told Billy that I needed to change coasts so I could be with my family in New Jersey. Billy made it possible and I'll be eternally grateful."

Peterson, 49, replaces Vern Ruhle, who was re-assigned within the organization September 30. He has been pitching coach of the A's for six years, during which the team enjoyed phenomenal success.

Oakland has finished in the top three in American League ERA in each of the last five years. The A's led the league with a 3.58 ERA in 2002 and again with a 3.63 mark this season.

Under Peterson's tutelage, Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito became 20-game winners and Zito won the 2002 AL Cy Young Award.

"Rick's record of success as a pitching coach speaks for itself," Mets GM Jim Duquette said. "He brings an approach and a passion to the job which will be a tremendous plus for our organization."

The Mets were 10th in the National League with a 4.48 ERA. Their three complete games were better than just two teams. They had 576 walks, third-most in the NL, and 907 strikeouts, the league's second-lowest total.

Prior to joining the A's in 1998, Peterson was bullpen coach with the Chicago White Sox from 1994-95 and minor league pitching coordinator with Toronto from 1996-97.

The Mets made a handful of other moves, moving Rick Waits from bullpen coach to minor league pitching coordinator, Bobby Floyd from manager of Class AAA Norfolk to third base coach and Matt Galante from third base coach to bench coach.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index