The Seattle Mariners announced their 2018 minor league coaching staffs on Wednesday afternoon, including the Tacoma Rainiers returning trio.
Pat Listach is back for his fourth year as manager of the Rainiers, and his sixth year managing in the Pacific Coast League. He’ll be joined by third-year pitching coach Lance Painter, and second-year hitting coach David Berg.
Listach took the helm of the Rainiers in 2015, going 68-76 in his first season. Year two saw a huge improvement: an 81-62 record, a division title and Tacoma’s first playoff appearance since 2010.
Last year the Rainiers fell to 66-76 due to a revolving-door roster that was out of Listach’s control. Tacoma had a winning record for much of the season before the incessant roster moves and the lack of any sort of true “team” caught up with us in the end.
Listach is good for the fans at Cheney: during his three years in Tacoma, Listach has amassed a 123-92 (.572) home won/loss record, which is the best of any PCL team over that time.
Personally, I happily welcome back all three. This is a fun staff to work with, and each of the trio gives interesting insight when interviewed on the radio show.
In 2017 the Rainiers had four coaches, but apparently the Mariners have backed away from that. The fourth coach last season was Denny Hocking, who yesterday was named the manager of the Mariners Low-A Clinton (Iowa) affiliate.
The Rainiers training and medical staff has not yet been revealed.
- SB Nation reporter Chris Cotillo says that the Mariners have re-signed Christian Bergman on a minor league deal. Bergman was very good for Tacoma last year, posting a 9-4 won-loss record and pitching a complete-game shutout – although his ERA ballooned to 5.34 due to a couple of very rough starts toward the end of the season (he was 8-1 with a 3.34 ERA on July 26). He also filled in for the Mariners last year, pitching in 13 major league games.
- The Seattle Times has a post on the Mariners minor league staffs, along with Ryan Divish’s comments on the assignments.
- Hall of Famer and member of the original 1960 Tacoma Giants Willie McCovey celebrated his 80th birthday recently, and he reminisced about his career.
- Longtime Mariners scout Wayne Norton passed away at age 75. He was a Canadian scout who also covered other international areas. Baseball America covered his career.
- Congratulations to Friend Of The Blog Dave Cameron, who is now a former baseball writer because he was hired by the San Diego Padres front office.