Former big league catcher John Stearns, who was hired this offseason by new Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon to the third-base coach has stepped down from the position after having surgery for a hiatal hernia on February 24.
Stearns asked general manager Jack Zduriencik to be reassigned, stating that his recovery from this surgery was taking longer than once thought and it wasn’t fair to the team to have him miss so much time.
“I am not physically able to perform the role of third base coach yet, and it appears that I will not be able to perform the job until the middle of April,” he said. “It is not fair to the organization, to Lloyd or to the players for me to expect to jump back in after not being able to participate in the bulk of spring training. I have asked Jack to re-assign me within the organization, and he has agreed to do so” — via Seattle Times
Zduriencik states that Stearns will be moved into the pro-scouting department once he is healthy enough to resume full-time duties. As for his replacement, Rich Donnelly, who was hired to manage Triple-A Tacoma, will continue his fill-in duties as third-base coach on a permanent level.
Zduriencik said he will decide on a replacement manager in Tacoma in the coming days. Daren Brown, Tacoma’s all-time leader in managerial wins, seems like the logical choice. Though as we’ve seen all too often within the organization, they rarely make the logical choice.