Why Seattle Mariners parted ways with offensive coordinator Brant Brown

May 31, 2024, 6:03 PM | Updated: 6:09 pm

Seattle Mariners Scott Servais...

Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais during a game against Detroit on May 13, 2023. (Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

SEATTLE – The Seattle Mariners haven’t lived up to their own expectations at the plate this season, and they made a decision they hope will get them going in the right direction.

Seattle Mariners let offensive coordinator Brant Brown go

The Mariners relieved bench coach and offensive coordinator Brant Brown of his duties before their series opener against the Los Angeles Angels, the team announced Friday afternoon. Brown, 52, was brought in during the offseason after spending last season as the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins.

The Mariners entered Friday leading baseball with 594 strikeouts through their first 58 games, which puts them on pace to break MLB’s single-season record set last year by the Minnesota Twins. Seattle also ranked 29th (211) in runs scored, 28th in batting average (.221), 25th in slugging (.361) and 24th in wRC+ (94).

“Obviously we’ve had some struggles on the offensive side,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said before Friday’s game. “It’s not all Brant’s fault by any means. It’s just (that we) want to make a change there, maybe a little different voice with our players, and we really need to get our guys focused back into doing what they do best.”

Servais said part of getting players back to what they do best is by doing a better job of individualizing the game plan for each hitter. He also noted it was a difficult decision to let go of Brown, a former teammate and friend of Servais.

“At the end of the day, we gotta do what’s best for the team and what’s best for our players,” Servais said.

Veteran outfielder Mitch Haniger praised the work Brown had done with the team before his departure.

“Very intelligent,” Haniger said. “He really understood the importance of game planning and understood the importance of swing mechanics. For me, it was a pleasure to work with (him) because he understood all different aspects of hitting, what can go into it, and (he) could relate to guys when they’re struggling, having been in the box before playing at the big-league level.”

Oftentimes the first person to go when a team is struggling offensively is the hitting coach or someone in a similar role. Haniger echoed Servais’ sentiment that the offensive struggles aren’t on Brown.

“Some of these things as a player are way above your head, so stuff that we try not to focus on,” Haniger said, “but it affects us and unfortunately our collective production as an offense kind of led to this decision, and all of us don’t feel too great about that. And Brownie’s not the one to blame for that, it’s not his fault. … We all really enjoyed working with him, very professional and a great hitting coach.”

What’s next?

What’s next for Seattle after Brown’s departure? Servais noted that director of hitting strategy Jarret DeHart and assistant hitting coach Tommy Joseph will take on increased duties.

“I think they have a clear understanding of what we value, and they also have an understanding of what’s the best version of each of our players, which everybody is a different individual and they all excel at different things,” Servais said. “But they’ll pick up the game planning, running the meetings, stuff like that here going forward, which they’ve done in the past. Jarret is very capable of doing that.

“I just thought the combination of Brant with Jarret DeHart and Tommy was going to be awesome and really come together and really take this offensive group to another level. It didn’t happen. So we’re going to make adjustments.”

Servais also said the team plans to bring in another “set of hands” to help with the offense from within the organization. He noted the team has options with major league experience.

“Ultimately, we just got to get more out of this group,” Servais said. “I know the players feel the same way that we have not reached anywhere close to what our potential is yet. So I’m looking forward to what lies ahead. It doesn’t make this day any easier. There’s no question. It’s very difficult.”

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