Mariners minor-league staff stays largely intact for 2017 season
The Mariners will enter the 2017 season with many of the same faces on their minor-league staff that led the organizations’ affiliates to a remarkable turnaround.
As 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer documented, the Mariners’ seven minor-league affiliates combined for a 451-314 record in 2016. The .590 winning percentage broke a franchise record and was tops in baseball. That came a year after finishing 29th in overall organizational standings the year prior.
General Manager Jerry Dipoto and Director of Player Development Andy McKay announced 16 new hires Monday among the 68 minor-league assignments (three of which are yet to be filled) next season:
Triple-A Tacoma – Pat Listach returns for the third consecutive season after leading the Rainiers to the postseason 2016. He has more than 20 years of professional baseball experience as a major league player, coach, coordinator and manager in the minor leagues, including a career minor-league managerial mark of 324-293 (.525). Dave Berg joins the Mariners organization as the Rainiers hitting coach. Brian Hunter will serve as a coach in Tacoma, after spending the 2016 season in Everett. Lance Painter enters his 12th season with the Mariners, and his second as the Rainiers pitching coach after spending the previous two seasons as the pitching coach with the Mariners Double-A affiliate. Tom Newberg will serve as the club’s athletic trainer and Derek Mendoza will be the team’s performance coach.
Double-A Arkansas – Daren Brown, entering his 17th season in the organization, returns for his second season as the Double-A manager, but his first with the Mariners new affiliate, the Arkansas Travelers. He led the Mariners’ Double-A club to a Southern League title in 2016. Ethan Katz begins his first season as pitching coach for the Travelers, but his 2nd season as a pitching coach in the Mariners organization. Eddie Menchaca, who managed the Mariners high-A affiliate in the Cal League last season, joins the Double-A staff as coach. Roy Howell returns as the team’s hitting coach for his third season, while Aaron Reis will return as performance coach.
High-A Modesto – Mitch Canham enters his second season in the Mariners minor-league organization, but his first as a manager in Cal League. He helmed Seattle’s affiliate in the Midwest League in 2016. His staff includes pitching coach Pete Woodworth, hitting coach Joe Thurston, coach Jim Pankovits and performance coach Andy Lyon.
A Clinton – Pat Shine enters his first season in the Mariners minor-league organization at the helm of Seattle’s affiliate in the Midwest League, the Clinton LumberKings. His staff includes pitching coach Doug Mathis and hitting coach David Flores, who are both in their first year in the Mariners organization. James Lofton, who was hitting coach in Peoria in 2016, will be the other coach on the staff. Lyle Danley, who was in Everett last season, will be trainer and the performance coach will be Paul Howey.
Short-A Everett – Jose Moreno, who is in his 17th season in the Mariners organization, will manage the AquaSox, Seattle’s Northwest League affiliate. He spent the past five seasons as the Mariners Latin America Field Coordinator. He led the AquaSox to the 2010 Northwest League title. Danielin Acevedo will be the pitching coach, Austin Knight will be hitting coach, and Andy Bottin, who is entering his 23rd season in the organization, will be the other coach. Michael Apodaca will serve as the team’s performance specialist.
Rookie Peoria – Zac Livingston returns for his second season as manager with the Mariners Rookie affiliate, the Arizona League Mariners after leading the club to an AZL title in 2016. Moises Hernandez and Yoel Monzon will be pitching coaches. Hernandez, the older brother of Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez, spent his first season as a pitching coach in 2016 with Everett. Denny Hocking joins the Mariners organization as the hitting coach after spending the 2016 season as the LA Angels minor-league infield coordinator. Jose Umbria, who is entering his 23rd season in the organization, will be the other coach. Randy Roetter returns for his 16th season with the team as the athletic trainer and Kevin Childs will be performance specialist.
Dominican Academy – Cesar Nicolas will manage the Mariners Academy team in the Dominican Summer League. His staff includes pitching coach Jose Veloz, hitting coach Selwyn Langaigne, infield coach Richard Paz and coaches Luis Caballero and Renny Osuna. Alexander Pons, George Drullard and Jose Rosa will be performance specialists, while Leonardo Santiago and Bladimir Frias will be the athletic trainers.
Player Development Coordinators (* notes a new hire for 2017):
Field Coordinator: Mike Micucci
Special Assistant Coordinator: Alvin Davis
Offensive Coordinator: Brant Brown
Defensive Coordinator: Dan Wilson
Pitching Coordinator: Oscar Marin*
Catching Coordinator: Tony Arnerich*
Athletic Training Coordinator: Jimmy Southard
Assistant AT Coordinator: Ben Fraser
Latin Athletic Training Coordinator: Javier Alvidrez
Coordinator, Player/Staff Systems: David Macias
Performance Coordinator: Rob Fumagalli
Special Assistant, Player Development: Pete Harnisch
Coordinator, Organizational Learning: Alon Leichman*
Coordinator, Communication: Leslie Manning*
Character/Leadership Development: Jimmy VanOstrand*
Mental Skills Coach: David Franco*