Seattle Mariners Announce Coaching Staff Changes for 2022
The Seattle Mariners announced their 2022 coaching staff on Monday, and there were some notable changes. There were four new additions to the coaching staff, as well as two coaches not returning to the Mariners organization. Seattle Times beat reporter Ryan Divish tweeted out the changes to the staff:
The two names that are leaving the organization are Tim Laker and Jared Sandberg. Laker was the Mariners hitting coach, and Sandberg was the bench coach. These moves do not seem to make a huge difference going forward, but they do signal a possible change in philosophy going forward. However, it seems impossible that the Mariners would ditch the famous “control the zone” mantra that Jerry Dipoto has preached for almost his entire tenure in Seattle.
The philosophical change could be in the way the Mariners approach their young players hitting. The Mariners have had struggles with multiple young players coming to the big leagues: Evan White, Cal Raleigh, Jarred Kelenic, and Taylor Trammell are some examples. The Mariners could be looking to try something new, and could look to fix some of their offensive struggles in 2022.
The new additions include making Jarrett DeHart the Hitting Coach and Director of Hitting Strategy, as well as making Tony Arnerich another hitting coach. This is interesting because they decided to have two hitting coaches, which is a little unconventional. It would seem that Arnerich, who was an interim manager for the Tacoma Rainiers in 2021, would be a little more of a traditional hitting coach, while DeHart would handle some of the more nuanced hitting strategies, per the title.
An interesting move for the Mariners player development also happened here. Andy McKay was the Farm Director for the Mariners prior to this. He will now be a Major League Coach, as well as Senior Director of Baseball Development. This could suggest that he is moving into a more mentorship position with the Mariners development, and more coaching-oriented (perhaps the bench coach?) at the big league level.
The final new addition is Kristopher Negron being named the First Base Coach. Negron was the manager for AAA Tacoma last year, in his first year as a coach and manager. He provided a player-oriented approach to managing, since he had been a player in 2019 with the Tacoma Rainiers for most of the year and spent some time with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Negron will be a fun and exciting coach for the M’s at first base in 2022, and will certainly be able to connect with the homegrown players.