With the season now over, the Mariners, according to multiple Major League Baseball sources, will make some changes to their big-league coaching staff after finishing 68-94 in 2019.
Third-base/outfield coach Chris Prieto and bullpen coach Jim Brower will not be retained for next season, while pitching coach Paul Davis will be reassigned to a new role in the organization. The Mariners also let go video coordinator Jimmy Hartley and assistant video coordinator Craig Manning.
The Mariners hired Davis last offseason from the St. Louis Cardinals, where he was serving as the Cardinals’ manager of pitching analytics in 2018 and worked as pitching coordinator in the years prior. The Mariners believed his knowledge of analytics and pitching mechanics and his usage of new technologies made him a unique fit. But all of that couldn’t overcome the talent deficiencies and revolving door of pitchers being shuffled on and off the roster.
Seattle’s pitching staff finished with a 4.99 ERA, which was the eighth highest in all of MLB and sixth highest in the American League. Mariners pitchers allowed 260 homers, which was the fourth most in MLB. The staff’s 1,239 strikeouts were the second lowest in all of MLB.
Given Davis’ background, he’ll likely assume a role similar to what he was doing in St. Louis.
Brower joined the Mariners for the 2018 season, serving as an assistant coach who focused on pitching. He was promoted to bullpen coach this season when Brian De Lunas was transitioned to the director of pitching development and strategies.
Prieto had been with the Mariners organization since 2013. He managed the now defunct Pulaski Mariners to an Appalachian League title. He was promoted to the big-league staff in 2014 as the team’s quality assurance coach. In 2017, he served as the team’s special projects coach and was promoted to first-base coach in 2018. He moved over to third-base coach this season with Manny Acta serving as bench coach.
The Mariners have candidates within the organization to fill some of these roles. Pete Woodworth, who was Class AA Arkansas’ pitching coach this season, spent the last three weeks of the MLB season with the Mariners and figures to be a top candidate for pitching coach. Lance Painter, the longtime pitching coach at Class AAA Tacoma, had been a candidate in previous years, but he was let go after Tacoma’s season. As for the third-base coaching job, the Mariners could promote major-league field coordinator Jared Sandberg. Tony Arnerich, the Mariners’ catching coordinator, and Carson Vitale, the minor-league field coordinator, also are popular with the front office.