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New Mets Hitting Coach Kevin Long: This Team Is 'On The Rise'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Kevin Long, who was named the Mets' hitting coach on Thursday, is very excited about his new position.

Not just because he gets to stay in New York -- he previously served as the Yankees' hitting coach for eight seasons -- but because he believes that his new team has great potential.

"I'm excited to get the opportunity to work with a team that I think is on the rise," Long said in a statement on Thursday. "I had a great meeting with  (general manager) Sandy (Alderson) and (manager) Terry (Collins) yesterday, and I can't wait to get started and help in any way I can."

Long, who won a World Series with the Bombers in 2009, was fired by the Yankees earlier this month. He'll now be reunited with Curtis Granderson. The slugging right fielder was very successful under Long's tutelage, hitting 41 and 43 homers in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

In his first season with the Mets, Granderson hit 20 homers and batted just .227. But with the fences being moved in at Citi Field, Grandy will be expected to increase his homer and RBI totals in 2015.

"Kevin's experience, success and wealth of knowledge make him the perfect fit as our hitting instructor," Alderson said in a statement. "This is a very positive step for the Mets."

The Mets fired former hitting coach Dave Hudgens in May and then promoted Lamar Johnson — previously the organization's minor-league hitting coordinator — for the position.

In early October, the club announced that Johnson and assistant hitting coach Luis Natera would be replaced.

The Mets' pitching was excellent in 2014, though the team struggled to score runs. New York finished eighth in the National League in runs (629), ninth in homers (125), tied for 12th in average (.239) and ninth in on-base percentage (.308).

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