LIstach had managed the Rainiers the past four seasons.
Pat Listach was tasked with the unenviable job of managing a Class AAA team — a situation where few players are happy to be a part of — with an organization that was going to make things that much more difficult by shuffling players back and forth from the big leagues back to Class AAA at a transit rate.
His reward? Non-renewal of his contract with the Mariners.
Listach, who has managed the Tacoma Rainiers for the past four seasons, was informed that he would not be retained for the 2019 season. He compiled a 281-286 record with the Rainiers.
“Andy McKay just fired me,” Listach said, referencing the Mariners’ director of player development. “I’m stunned. I can’t believe it.”
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Listach and the Rainiers often wore the brunt of the manic changes to the Mariners’ roster during the season, adapting and adjusting when starting pitchers were called up the day of their starts or playing short-handed when limited with position players or relievers.
This likely wasn’t a decision made by McKay on his own. Changes to the player development staff at the highest level also have to be approved by general manager Jerry Dipoto. Listach is the second high-profile person in player development to not be retained. A month ago sources told the Times that Mike Micucci, the coordinator of organizational instruction, was also informed that he was being let go.
There was some discussion within the organization that Listach might take a role as coordinator in the organization instead of being limited to just a manager. Instead, he won’t return.
When Listach was hired before the 2015 season, the Mariners considered it a coup. He had spent considerable time as a coach in the big leagues with the Cubs, Nationals and Astros. His MLB coaching experience to go with a solid playing career was supposed to be big for players at the AAA level.
Besides Listach and Miccuci, the Mariners have made changes to the baseball operations side. They parted ways with Tim Kissner, the director amateur scouting, and five pro scouts, including Lee MacPhail IV — the director of pro scouting. The Mariners plan to fill the those roles for the 2019 season and beyond.
With Listach’s dismissal, special instructor Alvin Davis remains as the only member of the player development staff that’s African-American.