McClendon announces M’s coaching staff
SEATTLE – Lloyd McClendon is bringing an entirely new coaching staff to Seattle, although a number of his additions have ties to the Mariners organization.
McClendon announced his coaching staff on Monday, with only two of his hires coming from outside of the club. Instead, McClendon is promoting a number of coaches from the minors and still holding out the possibility that one coach may return from the previous staff under Eric Wedge but in a different role.
“Obviously, there is some advantage to having some guys from within the organization,” McClendon said. “If you have the opportunity to promote from within, No. 1 it’s healthy for the organization, and No. 2 if those guys are qualified individuals it becomes an A-plus.”
Howard Johnson, a former New York Mets third baseman, will take over as Seattle’s hitting coach after serving in that role for the organization at Triple-A Tacoma last season. He’ll replace Dave Hansen, who was with the club for only one season but may return as Johnson’s assistant.
Rick Waits, a former Spokane Indian, will move from minor league pitching coordinator to be Seattle’s pitching coach, while John Stearns will be the third-base coach and Chris Woodward the infield coach. Stearns finished the 2013 season as Tacoma’s manager after Daren Brown was added to the major league staff, while Woodward was a roving minor-league infield coordinator.
McClendon is bringing in Andy Van Slyke (first-base coach) and Mike Rojas (bullpen coach) from outside the organization. Van Slyke has been out of coaching since 2009 when he left the staff in Detroit, where he worked with McClendon.
McClendon previously announced that Trent Jewett will serve as his bench coach.
The team said that bullpen catcher Jason Phillips and Scott Budner (left-handed batting practice pitcher) would return.