The tumblers on the Seattle Mariners’ new front office continue to fall into place with Tom Allison getting a promotion to oversee all of the organization’s scouting operations.
Allison, 48, spent the past three years as director of professional scouting but will now, in a revamped structure under new general manager Jerry Dipoto, also direct the club’s efforts in amateur and international scouting.
The Mariners also promoted pro scout Lee MacPhail IV to fill Allison’s former role as director of pro scouting.
MacPhail will report to Allison under the new alignment as will amateur scouting director Tom McNamara and director of international operations Tim Kissner.
Club officials have not confirmed those changes, but they did confirm the hiring of Andy McKay, 44, to replace Chris Gwynn as their director of player development.
McKay spent the past three years as Colorado’s peak performance coordinator — mental-skills coach — after a 14-year run as the coach at Sacramento City College.
Allison has more than 20 years of scouting experience, including a four-year run from 2007-10 as Arizona’s scouting director. Dipoto worked for the Diamondbacks in various roles from 2006-11.
McKAY: COACHES MUST IMPROVE, TOO
Make no mistake, the Mariners’ farm system will undergo major changes under McKay’s plan to stress the game’s mental aspect among players and staff.
“It’s called player development,” McKay said, “but it’s coaching development as well. Coaches have to get better. Coaches have to improve. Coaches have to be coachable.
“If you’re working in our department, we’re all a work in progress. Everyone has to get better, and everyone will get better.”
McKay estimates that only the 10 percent of players can separate themselves through sheer ability. The rest, he contends, require constant attention to maintain proper focus.
“The game really does become 100 percent mental for those players,” he said. “Their ability to focus on the right thing at the right time, and their ability to get through a long season without losing focus (is paramount).”
Angels assistant general manager Scott Servais is “gaining traction” according to one source in Dipoto’s search to find a replacement for fired manager Lloyd McClendon.
Industry insiders continue to view Tim Bogar, who also works in the Angels’ front office, as the leading candidate to become the Mariners’ next manager.
Dipoto hired Bogar and Servais while serving as the Angels’ general manager prior to his July 1 resignation. Bogar currently works as a special assistant to the general manager.
Servais had been seen as a strong candidate to run the Mariners’ scouting or player-development departments. But he has shown a desire to become a manager and was recently linked to San Diego’s opening.
If not hired as manager, Servais could still join the organization as a special assistant. He served as the farm director at Texas after an 11-year career as a big league catcher from 1991-2001.
Servais was a candidate to replace Dipoto as the Angels’ general manager before they hired Billy Eppler, who had been an assistant general manager with the New York Yankees.
One source said Dipoto is interviewing five managerial candidates. If so, Bogar and Servais would seem to complete the list because multiple reports say Dipoto has already talked to:
▪ Phil Nevin, who has spent the last two years as the manager at Triple-A Reno in the Arizona system. Nevin played 12 years in the big leagues from 1995-2006 as a third baseman, first baseman, outfielder and catcher.
▪ Charlie Montoyo, who served last season as Tampa Bay’s third base coach after leading Triple-A Durham to six division titles over the previous eight years in the Rays’ system.
▪ Jason Varitek, a special assistant to the general manager in Boston after a 15-year playing career as the Red Sox’s catcher.
INTEREST IN STOTTLEMYRE
Arizona bullpen coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr., a former pitcher, could be joining the Mariners’ coaching staff, according to the Arizona Republic.
Dipoto received permission to talk to Stottlemyre regarding a major league coaching position, said Tony La Russa, the Diamondbacks’ chief baseball officer.
Stottlemyre was viewed as a top candidate to replace fired Mike Harkey as Arizona’s pitching coach, but La Russa said Stottlemyre preferred to relocate to Washington to be near his ailing father.
La Russa said, “My guess is that’s going to happen.”
Stottlemyre was the Diamondbacks’ pitching coach in 2009-10, a period that coincides with Dipoto serving as the club’s vice president of player personnel and interim general manager.