The Mariners organization is shaking up some coaching staffs, and word is out that Tacoma Rainiers pitching coach Lance Painter will not be returning for the 2020 season.
Painter spent 13 years as an instructor in the Mariners organization, and he served as Tacoma’s pitching coach for the last four seasons.
The Tacoma pitching coach job has been extremely difficult the last three years, with the revolving door of players coming through, and very few spending any significant time with the team. In 2019 the Rainiers used 50 different pitchers, with not a single player reaching 100 innings pitched and only one (Anthony Misiewicz) reaching 80 innings. It was a similar story in 2018, with 44 different pitchers used. In 2017, Tacoma used 53 pitchers!
It’s really hard to do any quality coaching under these circumstances. Add in the new scoring standards with the juiced-up MLB baseball we used in the PCL this season (a 5.50 ERA is good now!), and it could really be a mental challenge.
Hopefully Lance can unwind this offseason, play some golf and relax, and enjoy a world without any 25-11 games in Reno.
Former Rainiers manager Pat Listach has his team in the Mexican League’s championship series, and he needs some wins. Two, to be exact.
Listach, who managed Tacoma from 2015 through 2018, took over the Monclova team mid-season this year. He then piloted them into the playoffs, where he has won two series already, with each series going a full seven games.
Now in the championship series, Monclova trails Yucaton three games to two. Listach has some former PCL players on his roster, including ex-Rainiers outfielder Eric Young Jr. Former PCL and MLB slugger Chris Carter has belted 49 homers for Monclova.
Monclova is at home for games six & seven. Good luck, Pat!
The MLB Wild Card Games are tonight and tomorrow. First up is the National League, in which the Washington Nationals face the red-hot Milwaukee Brewers. It starts at 5:00 on TBS, with the Max Scherzer-led Nationals the heavy favorite.
The American League game is Wednesday at 5:00, and that one is on ESPN. The Oakland A’s square off against the Tampa Bay Rays. There are a handful of former Rainiers on the Rays, with Ji-Man Choi, Mike Zunino and Andrew Kittredge likely to make the playoff roster.
Personally, I’m rooting for the Nats because I think they have the rotation to give the Dodgers a good fight later in the NL playoffs, and the Rays because of the ex-Rainiers and the fact that they are not the A’s.
Once these Wild Cards are settled, we’ll be back to post our annual Sure To Be Wrong MLB Playoff Predictions on Thursday.
The Mariners wrapped up the season with a couple of wins against the playoff-bound Oakland A’s, and finished the year with a record of 68-94. Most of the links below are related to the end of Seattle’s season.
- We’ll start with the story on the Mariners coaching staff changes. There are three openings in the majors, one which might fit Tacoma skipper Daren Brown (third base coach).
- Baseball America posted its list of the Top 20 Prospects in the Pacific Coast League this past season.
- Shed Long settled into left field defensively and had a strong September at the plate.
- At the Seattle Times, Ryan Divish and Evan Webeck created an interactive page on Felix Hernandez‘s finest moments as a Mariner. Divish attempted to recap Felix’s career in one feature-length story. Larry Stone remembers peak Felix Hernandez.
- In his final game for the Mariners, Felix made it about the fans. The News Tribune has a story on the game too.
- USS Mariner says goodbye to Felix. Meg Rowley wrote about her guy Felix. In his prime, Felix Hernandez redefined the modern change-up.
- It was a rough year on the field, but Mariners manager Scott Servais never lost the clubhouse, Matt Calkins writes.
- Divish impressively recapped the entire Mariners season in one not-too-long article.
- Greg Johns has five questions facing the Mariners this offseason.
- The Mariners will have the No. 6 pick in next year’s draft. Here’s the complete draft order.
- The M’s announced that this winter they will be doing roughly $30 million in upgrades to T-Mobile Park, mostly in infrastructure requirements (exciting stuff like plumbing and roof repair), but with a few fan amenities. Check out the plans here.
- In the PCL, the new Wichita franchise will be announcing its team name on November 13th. Apparently one of the finalists is the Wichita Doo-Dahs. More like Wichita Doo-Doos, amiright?