Today the Seattle Mariners announced all of their minor league coaching staffs, including the Tacoma Rainiers complimentary staff.
It was already revealed that the organization hired Pat Listach to manager Tacoma in 2015. We now know that he will be joined by returning coaches Jaime Navarro (pitching) and Cory Snyder (hitting).
This will be Navarro’s third year as Tacoma’s pitching coach (2010 and 2014). Snyder returns for his second consecutive season.
Venerable trainer Tom Newberg returns for his ninth year with the Rainiers, and he’ll be assisted by Triple-A rookie Tyler Moos. The new Performance Coach (that’s fancy-talk for strength & conditioning coach) will be Will Lindholm.
Elsewhere in the Mariners organization, almost every coaching staff is the same as it was in 2014 – which is a nice bit of consistency for a system that has had an inordinate amount of turnover in recent years.
Names of note:
Roy Howell will return to his original assignment as the Double-A Jackson hitting coach. That’s what he was supposed to do last season when a serious hernia suffered by major league coach John Stearns caused a series of dominoes to fall during spring training, ending with Howell being named Tacoma manager.
Daren Brown returns as a roving instructor. Tacoma’s all-time winningest manager will once again teach baserunning and bunting throughout the organization. In fact, the Mariners entire group of travelling minor league coaching coordinators from last year return in 2015 (that includes popular catching guru Dan Wilson).
Former Rainiers catcher James Horner will return as manager of the Double-A Jackson affiliate. This will be his second season at the helm of the club. He’s a name to know even if you don’t remember him as a player (he played for Tacoma in 2001 and 2002) because he appears to be on a path to become the Tacoma manager someday.
- The complete minor league staffs for the entire Mariners organization can be found on Bob Dutton’s blog post.
- The Mariners gave Robinson Cano permission to play a few games in the Dominican Winter League, which I think is pretty cool. Cano will play for his hometown team Estrellas de Oriente to get ready for spring training. Dominican natives who reach stardom in the majors often play a couple of games in their home country’s top league.
- Buster Olney ranked the top starting rotations in baseball and he has the Mariners 4th overall (ESPN Insider membership required).
- Tampa Bay and Oakland made a trade, and in the deal the Rays sent their starting shortstop Yunel Escobar to Oakland along with Ben Zobrist. This opens up a big league spot that former Rainiers infielder Nick Franklin will be shooting for in spring training.
- The latest edition of Baseball America’s minor league transactions shows ex-Rainiers third baseman Alex Liddi signing a minor league deal with the Royals, and former Rainiers reliever Stephen Hensley inked a deal with the Angels.
- Jeff Pentland was the Rainiers hitting coach in 2012, and he was just hired to be the major league coach for the Yankees.
- In the PCL, defending champs Omaha will have a new pitching coach: former major leaguer Al Nipper.
- I never knew a Shoeless Joe Jackson autographed baseball even existed until seeing this story. In the video, the auction guy says there are only two known Jackson-signed baseballs.
- Dave Cameron had a kid, which caused him to consider generational fandom.
We’ll be back Wednesday with the start of our position-by-position look at the players battling to make the Rainiers opening day roster. We open with the catchers.