2016 Seattle Mariners Coaching Staff Preview

Dec 9, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais speaks with the media during the MLB winter meetings at Gaylord Opryland Resort . Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 9, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais speaks with the media during the MLB winter meetings at Gaylord Opryland Resort . Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports /

 A new regime in the Seattle Mariners front office means sweeping changes to the coaching staff. How will new manager Scott Servais and company foster a winning culture?

When Jerry Dipoto was hired as the new general manager of the Seattle Mariners, it was clear that some changes were due throughout the entire front office, all the way to the dugout. Not surprisingly, the coaching staff of the 2016 Seattle Mariners looks quite different than that of 2015. Thank goodness, you might say. And you would be right.

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As if Jerry Dipoto’s overhaul of the roster wasn’t good enough, he did an equally commendable job preparing a new-look coaching staff–one that is tasked with the difficult journey of creating and fostering a winning culture for Seattle baseball.

Dipoto, who was the general manager of the Anaheim Angels from 2012 to July of 2015, had success during his time with the Halos. The Angels were 306-258 while Dipoto was the GM, including a 98-64 record in 2014, the final full season of Dipoto’s time in Los Angeles.

As soon as the hiring of Jerry Dipoto was officially announced, questions began arising about the future of manager Lloyd McClendon in Seattle. Those questions didn’t linger for long, and after meeting with McClendon, Dipoto announced in October that he would be searching for a new manager for the Seattle Mariners.

The firing of McClendon was the beginning of the purge, and by the winter the only remaining member of the 2015 Seattle Mariners coaching staff was should-be-hall-of-famer and hitting coach Edgar Martinez. After assessing the baseball IQ’s and approaches of the members of the coaching staff, Jerry Dipoto parted ways with third base coach Rich Donnelly, bench coach Trent Jewett and bullpen coach Mike Rojas. First base and infield coach Chris Woodward was given the opportunity to stay with the club, but opted to coach third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers after initial reports indicated that he would remain in Seattle. Quality control coach Chris Prieto and pitching coach Rick Waits were not asked to return to the big league club, but were given the chance to accept different roles in the organization.

Replacing Lloyd McClendon will be Scott Servais, who served as the assistant general manager in Anaheim under Jerry Dipoto. Although this is Servais’ first stab at managing in the MLB, his past with Dipoto should ensure a strong level of communication between the front office and the dugout–something that was not always present in Dipoto’s previous role.

Supporting Servais will be bench coach Tim Bogar, who served as the Angels’ special assistant in 2015. This is the second time that Jerry Dipoto has hired both Servais and Bogar. The coaching staff added a couple of notable former big leaguers in Mel Stottlemyre Jr. and Mike Hampton, who will serve as the pitching coach and bullpen coach, respectively. Who knows, perhaps Hampton will do some hitting instruction as well, as he slugged 16 home runs during 17 seasons in the majors.

2016 Seattle Mariners Coaching Staff Preview
Sep 13, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers interim manager Tim Bogar (27) looks on during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports /

Rounding out the coaching staff is former Cleveland Indians head coach Manny Acta, who will coach third base, and Casey Candaele, who will be the new first base coach. In addition to the coaching staff moves, Dipoto’s first big move of the offseason was one that didn’t touch the dugout, hiring the former mental coach for the Colorado Rockies as the new farm director for the Seattle Mariners. Andy McKay’s official title in Colorado was “peak performance coordinator,” and he will be vital in developing a more aggressive, winning mindset in the young players throughout the Seattle Mariners organization.

Back in September of 2013, with the passing of Nintendo founder and Seattle Mariners majority stock owner Hiroshi Yamauchi, a paradigm shift in the Seattle Mariners organization began to take place. That being said, the change was not as immediate as initially thought possible, as Nintendo elected to retain their 55 percent stock in the Seattle Mariners. Then, several months later, longtime Seattle Mariners president Chuck Armstrong announced that he would be leaving the organization.

Staying in house, then vice president of finance and ballpark administration Kevin Mather was promoted to president and chief operating officer of the club.

Next: Seattle Sports Year in Review: Top 10 Highlights of 2015

And thus marked the beginning of a new era in Seattle Mariners baseball. An era in which money is used for athletes, not ads. An era in which winning is the primary goal. An era in which the Seattle Mariners will finally give us something to cheer for.