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Mariners hire Jewett as bench coach

Mariners hire Jewett as bench coach

Mariners hire Jewett as bench coach

SEATTLE -- Lloyd McClendon's first order of business as Mariners manager is putting together his coaching staff, and he began that process Monday by naming Nationals third-base coach Trent Jewett as his new bench coach.

Jewett, who coached third and first base for Washington over the past three seasons, previously was McClendon's third-base coach with the Pirates from 2001-02 and has managed 17 seasons in the Minor Leagues in the Pirates' and Nationals' systems, with a career record of 1,178-1,166.

Jewett, 49, said he's known McClendon since the late '90s when he was managing the Pirates' Triple-A club in Calgary and McClendon was the hitting coach in Pittsburgh.

"We just hit it off," Jewett said of their longtime friendship. "We can agree to agree or disagree and neither comes away with hurt feelings. It's an open, honest relationship. Our personalities are similar in some ways and diverse enough that it makes a good mix.

"I think a great deal of him. He's exceptionally resourceful and quick and intelligent. They hired a tremendous man."

Jewett managed for 15 years in the Pirates' organization, including 11 seasons as their Triple-A skipper at Calgary, Nashville and Indianapolis. He was honored by Baseball America as the International League's "Best Manager Prospect" in '07. He then spent two years managing in the Nationals' farm system, including his last year at Triple-A Syracuse in 2010 before joining their Major League coaching staff.

"We are very excited to add an excellent baseball man like Trent to our staff," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "Trent's extensive background as a Minor League manager, instructor, Major League coach and his 27 years of baseball experience make him a well-rounded fit for this position. We are looking forward to Trent's contributions as he joins our organization."

Jewett was in Seattle over the weekend to meet with Zduriencik and McClendon, who was named as the Mariners new skipper last Tuesday, and had returned home to Dallas when the hiring became official on Monday.

"I am looking forward to getting the chance to work with Trent again," McClendon said. "We go back a ways as he was on my coaching staff in Pittsburgh, and we have a very trusting relationship."

That relationship is strong enough to have survived Jewett being sent back to managing in Triple-A in 2003, after two years on McClendon's Major League staff.

"They made a bunch of changes that year," Jewett said. "It was the right time for change, a transition time for the organization. Everybody went about their business and it didn't change my relationship with Lloyd at all."

As for what he saw from his time with McClendon in his first MLB managerial gig?

"The growth I saw was quick," Jewett said. "He figured things out really fast. He was able to gather and filter information really quickly and accurately. He made the most of his time.

"I'm sure there are things he'd have done differently, but you can say that about everybody. He made a lot of progress there and I'm sure in the interim he's developed a lot of beliefs and knowledge and information from the Tigers and Jim Leyland and other sources. I'm very much looking forward to working with him again."

Jewett spent four seasons as a catcher in the Pirates' farm system from 1987-90 after playing collegiately for North Texas State, and has been in pro ball since his playing days ended. This will be his first bench coach position, but he's filled about every job imaginable and understands the position of being McClendon's right-hand man.

"My role is to give him anything he needs and the ballclub anything I can add," Jewett said.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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