Mariners announce 2022 coaching staff, including some changes
The Mariners announced their 2022 major league coaching staff for manager Scott Servais on Monday afternoon, and while there were a number of changes, the group should be very familiar to those who follow the team.
Added to the big league staff:
• Tony Arnerich, hitting coach
• Andy McKay, major league coach and senior director of baseball development
• Kristopher Negrón, first base coach
• Jarret DeHart, promoted to hitting coach and director of hitting strategy
All four are internal adds, with DeHart serving as assistant hitting coach in 2021, Arnerich promoted from minor league field and catching coordinator, McKay moving from director of player development, and Negrón coming off a season as the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers manager.
Not returning in 2022 are hitting coach Tim Laker, who declined the Mariners’ offer to return next season, and bench coach Jarred Sandberg.
All returning are Manny Acta (third base coach), Trent Blank (bullpen coach, director of pitching strategy), Carson Vitale (major league field coordinator) and Pete Woodworth (pitching coach), with Perry Hill moving off first base but still responsible for coaching the infielders. The Mariners will not have a traditional bench coach; rather, Servais will rely on a more collaborative effort among the coaches.
“Our mantra here is ‘Doesn’t Matter, Get Better,’ and our coaches embodied that in 2021,” Servais said in the press release announcing the staff. “Between the returning staff and the coaches we’ve been able to add from our player development group, every person on this staff has had a hand in helping our players succeed in their careers, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of that success in 2022.”
A stated goal of the player development department has been to develop coaches as well as players. To that end, the Mariners have lost a number of minor league coaches and development staff to other big league teams, most recently Rainiers pitching coach Rob Marcello (who numerous pitchers at the big league level have credited for improvements), who accepted the position of pitching development director with the Padres, and hitting coordinator Connor Dawson, who is now a co-hitting coach with the Brewers.
With the four internal additions, the Mariners will stay on the organizational message. Their last external additions to the big league coaching staff came in 2019 when Laker, Sandberg, Hill and pitching coach Paul Davis were hired.
“The trust factor is huge,” Mariners general manager/president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said in a text. “Though to be fair, we did our due diligence with several external candidates on the hitting front before finalizing our staff. That said, in total this group is terrific and all have been drivers of our curriculum for a number of years.”
Of course, the biggest driver of that curriculum will now be in uniform on the field with the big league club. McKay will continue to lead the Mariners’ development initiatives, with Emanuel Sifuentes being promoted from his assistant role to director of player development, overseeing the minor league operations.