The first coaching staff that new Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu assembles could have one holdover from last season, but it will not be pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre.
Two months after ending his first season with the Mariners and three days following Wakamatsu's selection as the manager, Stottlemyre on Monday told the Seattle Times that he had been informed over the weekend that he would not return in 2009.
The 67-year-old Stottlemyre told MLB.com more than a month ago that he wanted to return but said that decision would be up to the manager.
He repeated that sentiment to the Times.
"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 was quoted by the Times.
Stottlemyre, a resident of Seattle suburb Sammamish, had hoped to remain with the organization in some capacity if he was not re-hired as the pitching coach. It was not immediately known if he has been offered another job with the Mariners.
Among the potential candidates to fill the all-important pitching coach job is Dom Chiti, currently a special assistant to Braves general manager Frank Wren. Chiti and Wakamatsu worked together with the Rangers for four seasons and remain good friends.
But Chiti, contacted at his Florida home on Tuesday, said he has talked to Wakamatsu only once since Wakamatsu was hired, and that was a congratulatory phone call that did not include any discussion about becoming the Mariners' pitching coach.
The Mariners are not expected to make any comments on the coaching staff until it has been completely assembled. The Times also reported on Monday that hitting coach Jose Castro, who took over for the dismissed Jeff Pentland last June, would return as hitting coach next season. Also, MLB.com has been reporting for several days that Athletics hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo might join the coaching staff as the bench coach.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.