SEATTLE -- The Mariners made marginal moves to their 2023 coaching staff, headlined by a fairly notable name joining manager Scott Servais’ staff.
Stephen Vogt, the two-time All-Star catcher who retired after the 2022 season, was added as the club’s bullpen and quality control coach, taking the role held by Trent Blank, who will move to the dugout as a Major League coach and director of pitching strategy. Vogt, 38, spent most of his 10-year career with Oakland as recently as last season, when he hit an emotional homer in his final at-bat.
Those were the only changes within Servais’ 12-man staff.
“It felt like the right fit to get my feet wet in the coaching world and then learn from Scott and his staff and [assistant general manager] Andy [McKay] and all of them, and get my foot in the door for the second half of my career,” Vogt told MLB.com by phone. “And what a great opportunity to join the Mariners.”
Vogt, who hasn’t worked with any of Seattle's coaches or front-office members, received a call shortly into the offseason from McKay, who gauged his interest in the role that became open after the club promoted Blank. That decision was to allow Blank to have a greater impact on pitching throughout the organization. Given Vogt’s wide-ranging experience, he’ll also assist in strategy beyond his primary objective with relievers.
As conversations progressed, the match seemed ideal. Touted as one of the game’s smartest catchers, Vogt brings a relatability to Servais -- himself an 11-year MLB catching veteran -- and a leadership component to Seattle’s young roster. He also resides in Olympia, Wash., with his wife, Alyssa, his daughter, Payton, and sons, Clark and Bennett, putting proximity as the cherry on top.
“The team is in an exciting spot,” Vogt said. “And this role for me, being with the bullpen and being able to help in all kinds of other areas too with the catching and the game planning, I just felt that it fit my skill set really well. I think one of the biggest parts of my career as a catcher was my relationships with pitchers.”
Blank has long been destined to rise within the organization after quickly turning the Mariners’ bullpen from one of MLB’s worst in 2020 into one of its best since becoming the bullpen coach in ‘21. This will be his fourth year on Servais’ staff and fifth in the organization after joining the club as a coordinator of pitching strategy in ‘19. Prior to that role, he spent four years at TMI Sports Medicine working as a baseball performance specialist.
Here is the rest of the staff that Servais will oversee:
• Third-base coach: Manny Acta (sixth year in current role, eighth on Seattle’s staff, 29th as pro coach)
• Hitting coach: Tony Arnerich (second year in current role, seventh as pro coach)
• Director of pitching strategy/Major League coach: Trent Blank (first in current role, fourth in Seattle, fifth as pro coach)
• Director of hitting strategy/hitting coach: Jarret DeHart (second in current role, fourth in Seattle, fifth as pro coach)
• Infield coach: Perry Hill (fifth in current role, 31st as pro coach)
• First-base coach: Kristopher Negrón (second in current role, fourth in coaching/player development in pro baseball)
• Major League field coordinator: Carson Vitale (fourth in current role, 12th as pro coach)
• Bullpen and quality control coach: Stephen Vogt (first in current role and as pro coach)
• Pitching coach: Pete Woodworth (third in current role, seventh as pro coach)
• Bullpen catcher: Fleming Báez (eighth year in current role)
• Bullpen catcher: Justin Novak (first year in current role)
• Batting practice pitcher: Nasusel Cabrera (ninth year in current role)
“I’m thrilled that we’re able to return our entire coaching staff for the 2023 season,” Servais said. “Our coaches did a tremendous job helping our players improve and prepare every day in 2022, and they deserve a lot of credit for the success we had. With the addition of Stephen Vogt and a new role for Trent [Blank] in 2023, we are well equipped to build on the winning foundation we have established here.”