- Adam Rubin, ESPN Staff Writer
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New York Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen and third base coach Chip Hale will remain in those roles on the staff of incoming manager Terry Collins, the team announced on Monday.
Warthen had told ESPNNewYork.com by telephone Monday that general manager Sandy Alderson left a voicemail earlier in the day inviting him to return.
Hale had been a candidate for the Mets managerial job. Both he and Warthen had strong endorsements from Mets ownership.
Warthen, who succeeded Rick Peterson on June 17, 2008, presided over a staff that had a 3.70 ERA, which ranked seventh in the majors. The season included the development of rookie left-hander Jon Niese and a bounceback season from right-hander Mike Pelfrey.
"I thought we had a pretty solid year with the things that happened," said Warthen, partly alluding to injuries to starting pitchers John Maine and Johan Santana and closer Francisco Rodriguez's suspension. "I thought we saw progress in probably 80 percent of the pitchers."
Alderson has acknowledged Santana, who underwent shoulder surgery on Sept. 14, will not be ready for the start of the season. And with the Mets' payroll already approaching $130 million and no notable additions coming, it may be essential for Pelfrey, Niese and fellow starter R.A. Dickey to perform.
"I think those guys can carry the load until Johan gets back," Warthen said. "You would like to have another reliable, experienced arm. We're not going to be able to spend a lot of money, but there should be someone in a reasonable price range to help us out."
Warthen said he has a longstanding relationship with Collins.
"I've known Terry for 15 years," he said, dating to even before Collins' tenure managing the Astros in the mid-1990s. "I knew him in Houston, across the field. We had known each other before that, crossing paths. With the Dodgers, he was the minor league field coordinator over there, and I got to know him more intimately in discussions. I'm very impressed with his knowledge of the game."
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