By Shannon Drayer
You may have missed this but a small piece of news was dropped on “The Hot Stove League Show” this week. When Mike Blowers asked new bench coach Trent Jewett who would be running camp in spring training, he mentioned a surprising name.
“Rich Donnelly, who is a veteran big leaguer is going to handle some of the scheduling,” he answered.
The Mariners have yet to announce the move but the team has hired Donnelly. While the minor-league coaching staffs have not been finalized or announced, I have learned that Donnelly will manage Triple-A Tacoma. Daren Brown, who finished the 2013 season as third-base coach for the Mariners and has managed the Rainiers since 2007, will stay with the organization in another capacity.
Donnelly’s baseball resume is extensive dating back to 1967 when he was drafted by the Twins. He spent four years in the minor leagues then started his coaching career managing in the Rangers organization from 1972-1979. Like Lloyd McClendon, Donnelly has a strong connection to Jim Leyland, spending 14 years on his staffs with the Pirates, Marlins and the Rockies. Since 2011 he has managed in the Mets’ farm system.
If you are a fan of great baseball stories, Donnelly’s name should ring a bell. Anthony Castrovince told his story beautifully in this 2012 MLB.com article.