The same field staff that led Triple-A Tacoma to a 20-2 home record down the stretch last season will return in 2009, the Mariners announced on Tuesday. Manager Daren Brown, hitting coach Alonzo Powell and pitching coach Dwight Bernard have been re-hired to the same positions as last season. Also returning is athletic trainer Tom Newberg, who enters his 23rd season in the Mariners' organization. The Minor League assignments for all teams were announced on Tuesday.
First-year manager Phil Plantier, who spent the 2008 season as a coach with Double-A West Tennessee, moves into the top spot on the staff. The staff includes hitting coach Terry Pollreisz and pitching coach Tom Dettore, who played for the Pirates (1973) and Cubs (1974-76) during his Major League career, and worked in the Pittsburgh organization as a pitching coordinator (1995-98) and pitching coach at four levels. Class A High Desert skipper Jim Horner returns for a second season, assisted by pitching coach Jaime Navarro and hitting coach Tommy Cruz. The only new team in the farm system, the Clinton LumberKings, will be managed by Scott Steinmann, who led West Tennessee to a 70-58 overall record in 2008, including a 41-29 mark to win the First-Half Northern Division Championship in the Midwest League. His staff includes pitching coach Lance Painter, who was pitching coach with High Desert in 2008, and coach Eddie Menchaca. Former Major League catcher John Tamargo, a newcomer to the Mariners' organization, will manage the Everett AquaSox of the Northwest League, and Jesus Azuaje will be the team's coach. The second-year Pulaski Mariners will be managed by Rob Mummau, who enters his eighth season in the Mariners' organization and second at Pulaski. His staff will include pitching coach Rafael Santo Domingo and trainer Colby Harris. Jose Moreno, who managed the AquaSox last season, returns to the helm of the Peoria Mariners in the Arizona League after also managing the team in 2007. Andy Bottin, who managed the Peoria team last season, returns this season as coach. He was recently named the 2008 Mariners Player Development Staff Member of the Year. Pitching coach Gary Wheelock, who is in his 26th season with Seattle, returns to Peoria for his sixth season, while trainer Randy Roetter returns for his eighth season with the team. Minor League pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on March 8, followed by workouts two days later. The remainder of the players report to camp on March 12 and begin workouts on March 14. They start playing games on March 18. Seattle's Minor League roving instructors will consist of coordinator of instruction Tim Tolman, pitching coordinator Dave Wallace, catching coordinator Roger Hansen, hitting coordinator Jose Castro, infield coordinator Darrin Garner, strength and conditioning coordinator James Clifford, trainer coordinator Mickey Clarizio and physical therapist Sean McQueeney.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.