Daren Brown‘s quest for 500 is on. And it better not take very long.
The Seattle Mariners announced that Brown will return as Tacoma’s manager for 2020, marking the ninth year in which he has begun the season as Tacoma’s skipper.
Brown enters the season with more wins that any manager in Tacoma franchise history, with 494. If he doesn’t get that 500th win in the first two weeks of the season, we’ve got issues.
The Rainiers begin the season April 9th with a five-game home series against Fresno before hitting the road for a six-game road trip. He should get his 500th win on that initial road trip, or at the very start of the Rainiers second homestand.
Joining Brown will be returning hitting coach Roy Howell, who is a “baseball lifer” as we like to say, and young pitching coach Rob Marcello. Howell has decades of experience in the game, while Marcello will be beginning his second professional season. Quite the juxtaposition, eh?
As noted in last week’s post, the training/performance staff remains intact from last year.
Overall, the staff features continuity from last year with the exception of the change of pitching coaches. The experience of Brown and Howell will help guide Marcello, who is coming off a highly successful first year as a pitching coach at Class-A Modesto.
Coaching stability is a good thing in Triple-A baseball, and not easily attained.
Former Mariners ace and ex-Rainiers pitcher Felix Hernandez has signed with the Atlanta Braves. It’s a minor league contract with an invite to spring training – he’ll have to perform well in the Grapefruit League and earn a spot in the Braves rotation.
This will not be an easy team for Felix to make. Atlanta is one of the top contenders in the National League, and they expect to win this year. Furthermore, the strength of the Braves farm system is starting pitching prospects – many of whom reached Triple-A last year and are on the cusp of the big leagues. Hopefully Felix is up for the challenge.
We’ll be back tomorrow with the first (and shortest!) installment of our annual position previews series, with a look at potential Tacoma catchers.
- The Mariners announced all of their minor league coaching staffs – you can see them here. Of note: former Rainiers hitting coach David Berg is now the manager at Double-A Arkansas, and former Rainiers outfielder and old pal Shawn O’Malley is the hitting coach for Class-A Modesto.
- The Seattle Times has more on Felix signing with the Braves.
- Baseball America’s latest round of Minor League Transactions notes that the team has signed Triple-A reliever Kevin Munson, who pitched for the team in 2016. A pair of catchers were added (more on that tomorrow), and the team quietly released former major leaguer Max Povse.
- The Reno Aces announced that the entire coaching staff from 2019 will return, led by manager Chris Cron.
- El Paso will bring back manager Edwin Rodriguez for his second season.