Mel Stottlemyre and Lee Elia will not be part of the coaching staff of new Mariners' manager Don Wakamatsu, The Seattle Times has learned.
Mel Stottlemyre and Lee Elia will not be part of the coaching staff of new Mariners’ manager Don Wakamatsu, The Seattle Times has learned.
Stottlemyre, 67, served the 2008 season as Mariners’ pitching coach after a 10-year stint with the Yankees. He said he heard over the weekend from Wakamatsu, who told him he had decided to bring in a new pitching coach.
“I had a desire to come back, but at the same time, I let them know that a new manager should be able to bring in his own coaching staff,” Stottlemyre said on Monday.
It is not immediately known who will be the new pitching coach. However, it is not expected to be former A’s and Mets coach Rick Peterson, who had been a rumored candidate.
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Stottlemyre, an Issaquah resident, praised Wakamatsu for the manner in which he handled the situation.
“We had a nice conversation, very cordial,” he said. “He said he wanted to be the one to give me the news. That was first class. A lot of guys would have taken the easy way out.”
Elia, 71, began the 2008 season as a special assistant to manager John McLaren. He took over as hitting coach when Jeff Pentland was fired on June 9, and became new manager Jim Riggleman’s bench coach on June 19 after the firing of McLaren.
It is believed that the Mariners’ new bench coach will be Ty Van Burkleo, who served as the A’s hitting coach last year. MLB.com last Friday cited two major-league sources as saying that Van Burkleo will be a part of Wakamatsu’s staff. Van Burkleo, 45, was said to be Wakamatsu’s closest friend among Oakland coaches last season.
Elia said Monday he, too, heard from Wakamatsu over the weekend that the new manager was going to go in a different direction.
“I congratulated him on getting the job, because he’s a hell of a guy,” said Elia said, who managed the Cubs and Phillies in his 47-year baseball career.
“It’s not really a feeling of disappointment, because I’ve been there. Everyone should have a choice of picking people they’re familiar with. That’s the case now. He said he would probably bring in all new faces. I understand that. He has to have loyalty and trust from his coaches, and you find that from people you’ve worked with.”
Elia didn’t rule out returning to the Mariners in the special-assistant capacity in which he began last season.
“There still may be something I could do for Seattle before it’s over,” he said. “My initial job was a great job.”
The status of the other holdover coaches, Norm Charlton (bullpen) and Jose Castro (hitting) was not immediately known.
Riggleman, third-base coach Sam Perlozzo and first-base coach Eddie Rodriguez have already taken new positions. Riggleman will be the bench coach for the Washington Nationals; Perlozzo joined the Phillies’ staff, most likely as third-base coach; and Rodriguez became a special assignments coach for the Royals.