NEW YORK -- SNY's Mets coverage team is undergoing one of its more high-profile shakeups in recent years, with former starting pitcher Nelson Figueroa taking over for Bob Ojeda as the network's primary pregame and postgame studio analyst. Ojeda had worked at SNY since 2009.
Figueroa, 40, pitched for the Mets from 2008-09, following a rocky early big league career and stints in Mexico and Taiwan. He remained in the Majors until 2011, before returning to Taiwan in '13. A graduate of Brandeis University, Figueroa's unorthodox career arc and insightful answers to questions made him a media darling in the clubhouse.
"Having grown up in Coney Island as a Mets fan, getting to play for them during a 19-year journey that's taken me all around the world, and now coming full circle back to New York to cover this team is truly amazing," Figueroa said in a statement. "I am looking forward to being a part of a great team at SNY, and I can't wait to get started."
"We're excited about the addition of Nelson to our pregame and postgame team," said Curt Gowdy Jr., SNY's senior vice president of production and executive producer. "His familiarity with the Mets organization and current roster, as well as his wealth of recent experience gathered over the course of his long career, will allow him to offer unique and contemporary analysis into the game and its players."
Ojeda, 57, endeared himself to Mets fans forever by winning 18 games for the 1986 World Series champion club, plus another two in the playoffs. He pitched in Flushing from 1986-90, and also played for the Red Sox, Dodgers, Indians and Yankees. At SNY, Ojeda drew praise for his honest critiques of players and the team. His split with the network was reportedly due to money.
SNY's nightly broadcasts were already primed to take on a different tenor this season, with longtime field reporter Kevin Burkhardt leaving the network to pursue a full-time job with FOX. Steve Gelbs, who served as Burkhardt's backup last season, is expected to take over that role full time.
In the booth, Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling will return for their 10th season calling games together.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.