Seattle Mariners

Mariners announce new minor league staff, but familiar face is back managing Rainiers

Daren Brown, who was moved up from the Tacoma Rainiers to manage the Seattle Mariners, returns to the dugout before his first game at the helm. In Safeco Field, August 9, 2010 photo by Peter Haley / staff photographer
Daren Brown, who was moved up from the Tacoma Rainiers to manage the Seattle Mariners, returns to the dugout before his first game at the helm. In Safeco Field, August 9, 2010 photo by Peter Haley / staff photographer THE NEWS TRIBUNE

Daren Brown was born in Holdenville, Oklahoma, but at this point he might as well be a Tacoman.

He has won more games managing at Triple-A Tacoma than anyone in club history. He managed the Rainiers to their last Pacific Coast League title in 2010, one year after winning it in 2009. He was even the Seattle Mariners’ interim manager for a couple months after they fired Don Wakamatsu.

Afterthen spending two years as a roving coordinator, Brown said he never thought he’d find his way back to the South Sound.

Brown, 51, is as familiar with the Rainiers as anybody, and on Monday the Mariners announced he’ll be returning to Tacoma to manage the Triple-A club yet again after he spent the previous three years managing in Double-A.

What he’s most looking forward to about being back in Tacoma?

“The weather,” Brown said. “Well, after April and May, anyway.”

So says the native of Amarillo, Texas.

“I’m accustomed to 90-something degrees and a lot of humidity, but I don’t have to like it,” Brown laughed. “I know 75 degrees every day is still better than 95.”

He last managed the Rainiers in 2013 before being called in as the Mariners’ third-base coach under Eric Wedge while Jeff Datz was undergoing cancer treatment. Wedge and the rest of the big-league staff left after the season and Brown said the Mariners basically created the role of minor-league bunting and base-running coordinator just for him.

Jerry Dipoto was hired as the Mariners general manager after the 2015 season and Brown was moved to the bench at Double-A Jackson. He led them to the Southern League title in 2016 before the Arkansas Travelers became the Mariners’ new Double-A affiliate.

“I did feel like I had more to offer,” Brown said. “So I was happy to get back in the dugout and managing. There have been a lot of changes since I’ve been here and that’s just part of it. We ask the players to make adjustments and sometimes we forget as coaches that we need to make adjustments, too. I feel fortunate to be back here, and a little bit lucky, too.”

“Obviously, (Dipoto and director of player development Andy McKay) have been here three years and all three I’ve managed the Double-A club. They asked me to manage again and I enjoyed the opportunity to do that. The relationship with both of them has been good and it will be the same, if not more, being a little closer on the minor-league latter.”

Pat Listach managed the Rainiers the past four years, but his contract was not renewed this offseason.

This will be Brown’s 19th season in the Mariners’ organization and he has 433 wins managing the Rainiers over parts of seven seasons. He was drafted by the Blue Jays in 1989 as a pitcher out of Southeastern Oklahoma State University before joining the Mariners in 2001 to take over at Single-A San Bernardino. He was promoted to manage the Rainiers in 2007.

Brown led the Mariners’ announcement of all their minor-league coaching positions. Lance Painter returns as the Rainiers’ pitching coach and Roy Howell, an AL All-Star with the Blue Jays in 1978, as the hitting coach.

With the Mariners planning to take a step back in 2019 in hopes of competing for playoff spots in 2020 and 2021, the Rainiers could have an influx of talent, with Dipoto trading most of the roster away for prospects.

But Brown said he’s not drawing up any plans yet.

“I have no idea,” he said of how he expects the Rainiers to look this coming year. “I know how it works at this level. What you have one day can change quite a bit the next. There’s kids coming into big-league camp who are expecting to make the big-league club who all the sudden may find themselves in Tacoma. So for me, it’s we’ll see who the 25 guys are when we start the season.”

Other notables:

Mitch Canham was promoted from high Single-A Modesto to Double-A Arkansas to take over for Brown there. Canham was born in Richland, grew up in Lake Stevens and was a first-round pick out of Oregon State by the Padres in 2007. He managed Modesto to the California League Championship in 2017.

Dave Berg spent this past year as Triple-A Tacoma’s hitting coach, but now he’ll take over at new Mariners’ Single-A affiliate West Virginia Power as its manager. This is Berg’s third season in the Mariners’ organization after seven years with the Marlins’ player development staff.

Jose Moreno remains as the manager for short-season Single-A Everett for the third consecutive season, though this is his 19th year in the Mariners’ organization.

The Mariners eight-man player-development group will be led by minor league field coordinator Carson Vitale. Their special assistants will include former Mariners players Alvin Davis (ninth year) and Dan Wilson (sixth year), as well as Pete Harnisch (fourth year).

Here’s the Mariners’ full minor-league staffing:

Player Development Coordinators:

Field Coordinator

Carson Vitale

Special Assistant, Player Development

Alvin Davis

Special Assistant, Player Development

Dan Wilson

Special Assignment, Pitching Coach

Pete Harnisch

Pitching Coordinator

Max Weiner*

Hitting Coordinator

Hugh Quattlebaum

Assistant Hitting Coordinator/Catching Coordinator

Tony Arnerich

Coordinator, Latin America Development

Cesar Nicolas

Minor League Video Coordinator

Craig Manning

High Performance Coordinators:

Coordinator, Minor League Medical/Athletic Training

John Walker

Coordinator, Minor League Rehabilitation

Michael Feliciano

Coordinator, Performance Specialist

Rob Fumagali

Asst. Coordinator, Performance Specialist

Aaron Reis

Peak Performance Coach

Jimmy VanOstrand

Peak Performance Coach

David Franco

Peak Performance Coach

Adam Bernero*

Rehab Coach

Moises Hernandez

Athlete Monitoring

Dan Adams

Pitching Strategist

Trent Blank*

Pitching Strategist

Forrest Herrmann*

Hitting Strategist

Jarret DeHart

Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers:

www.TacomaRainiers.com

Manager:

Daren Brown

Pitching Coach:

Lance Painter

Hitting Coach:

Roy Howell

Athletic Trainer:

Tom Newberg

Assistant Athletic Trainer:

Josh DiLoreto

Performance Specialist:

Derek Mendoza

Double-A Arkansas Travelers:

www.Travs.com

Manager:

Mitch Canham

Pitching Coach:

Pete Woodworth

Hitting Coach:

Kyle Wilson*

Athletic Trainer:

B.J. Downie

Performance Specialist:

Michael Apodaca

High Single-A Modesto Nuts:

www.ModestoNuts.com

Manager:

Denny Hocking

Pitching Coach:

Rob Marcello*

Hitting Coach:

Jose Umbria

Athletic Trainer:

Taylor Bennett

Performance Specialist:

Michael Sadler

Single-A West Virginia Power:

www.WVPower.com

Manager:

Dave Berg

Pitching Coach:

Alon Leichman

Hitting Coach:

Eric Farris

Athletic Trainer:

Josh Gallagher

Performance Specialist:

Kevin Childs

Short Season Single-A Everett AquaSox:

www.AquaSox.com

Manager:

Jose Moreno

Pitching Coach:

Ari Ronick*

Hitting Coach:

Joe Thurston

Athletic Trainer:

Amanda Lee*

Performance Specialist:

Alexander Pons

Rookie Peoria Mariners:

Manager:

Zac Livingston

Pitching Coach:

Yoel Monzon

Hitting Coach:

Connor Dawson*

Athletic Trainer:

Randy Roetter

Performance Specialist:

Andy Lyon

Minor League Equipment Manager:

Isaac Ruiz

Asst. MiL Equipment Manager:

Martin Nelson

Dominican Academy:

Director of Dominican Admin.

Martin Valerio

Asst. Baseball Operations (DR)

Luis Matias

Academic Advisor

Walkyria Torres

Manager:

Austin Knight

Pitching Coach:

Jose Amancio

Hitting Coach:

David Flores

Coach:

Andy Bissell*

Coach:

Luis Caballero

Athletic Trainer:

Bladimir Frias

Athletic Trainer:

Jorge Rodriguez*

Performance Specialist:

George Drullard

Performance Specialist:

Jose Rosa

*First year in organization

TJ Cotterill: 253.597.8677, @TJCotterill

TJ Cotterill is the Seattle Mariners and MLB writer for The News Tribune. He started covering MLB full-time in 2018, but before that covered Ken Griffey Jr.’s Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown, the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay and spent seven years writing about high schools, including four as TNT’s prep sports coordinator. Born and raised in Washington.


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