Mariners let bullpen coach DeLunas go among behind the scenes changes
Just over one week after the season has ended, major changes have been made behind the scenes of the Mariners.
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.