SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners let bullpen coach DeLunas go among behind the scenes changes

Oct 8, 2020, 10:55 AM | Updated: 11:16 am

Just over one week after the season has ended, major changes have been made behind the scenes of the Mariners.

Drayer: From overlooked to ‘the guy,’ Kyle Lewis still trending up for M’s

Sources confirm that longtime front office member Roger Hansen, who had been serving as special assistant to the GM, bullpen coach Brian DeLunas, who coached remotely in 2020, and three key members of the training staff have been informed their contracts will not be renewed.

Hansen originally came to the organization as a veteran minor league catcher and famously was tasked with being Ken Griffey Jr.’s roommate the year before his big league debut. In 2002 he was hired as a coach for the Everett AquaSox and became the organization’s catching coordinator a year later. In 2011 he was named a special assistant to the GM by Jack Zduriencik.

DeLunas had been with the organization since being hired as bullpen coach by Jerry Dipoto in 2018. While he had no prior coaching experience in professional baseball, DeLunas had run a pitching performance center in St. Louis where he had worked with a number of pro players and brought with him heavy knowledge of biomechanics, pitching technology and analytics, which were utilized on both the major and minor league sides in his time with the Mariners. He was one of three coaches the Mariners decided to have work remotely in 2020 due to risk factors with the coronavirus.

The moves on the training side represent major change that impacts Mariners current and past as Rick Griffin, Rob Nodine and Matt Toth spent a combined 58 years in the Mariners training room.

Griffin, who had been most recently serving as athletic trainer emeritus, had spent 35 years as the team’s head athletic trainer, working 5,574 games total. Nodine joined his staff in 2006 after spending 11 years as a trainer in the minor leagues. Toth was hired as a minor league trainer in 2006 after spending time in the Brewers and Cubs organizations, and was promoted to the big leagues in 2012. In 2013, Griffin’s staff was honored with the Martin-Monahan Award as the best medical staff in MLB.

After Griffin’s transition from the everyday role as head athletic trainer/senior director of athletic training to emeritus, Nodine was named senior athletic trainer. Prior to the 2020 season, Kyle Torgerson was hired as head athletic trainer of the Mariners. He had spent seven years as a trainer in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

Follow Mariners insider Shannon Drayer on Twitter.

M’s Takeaways: Digging into what Dipoto said about 2B, offseason needs

Shannon Drayer

Mariners Cal Raleigh Julio Rodríguez...
SeattleSports.com Staff

Drayer: The Mariners Week That Was on Seattle Sports 710 AM

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer has collected the best M's interviews and analysis from this week on Seattle Sports 710 AM for a podcast.
22 hours ago
Mariners Kolten Wong...
Shannon Drayer

Kolten Wong on joining exciting Mariners: ‘I just wanted to be a part of it’

"I just want to come to this team and do my part," new Mariners second baseman Kolten Wong told Seattle Sports' Bump and Stacy.
5 days ago
Mariners Kolten Wong...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: What Mariners are getting in Kolten Wong, what’s next in offseason

Just what are the Mariners getting in new 2B Kolten Wong? Shannon Drayer has the details with quotes from GM Justin Hollander.
8 days ago
Mariners Cal Raleigh George Kirby...
Shannon Drayer

Talking Mariners Podcast: Breaking down Dipoto’s comments on payroll

M's pregame/postgame hosts Shannon Drayer and Curtis Rogers are back for a new Talking Mariners, with the latest Jerry Dipoto Show taking focus.
9 days ago
Mariners general hat glove...
Shannon Drayer

Mariners Notebook: Andy McKay named assistant GM; dates to watch

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer goes through what Andy McKay's promotion to assistant GM means and sets the stage for next week's winter meetings.
10 days ago
Mariners Julio Rodríguez...
Brent Stecker

Big question Mariners have to answer: Where does Julio Rodríguez hit?

Julio Rodríguez eventually settled in as leadoff hitter for the Mariners in 2022, but will that change in 2023 -- and should it? Shannon Drayer and Ryan Rowland-Smith discuss.
20 days ago
Mariners let bullpen coach DeLunas go among behind the scenes changes