SEATTLE -- While almost all of their Minor League coaching staffs will return intact next season, the Mariners on Wednesday announced the hiring of several new Minor League coordinators, including hitting coordinator Hugh Quattlebaum and organization pitching coach Cody Buckel.The Mariners also have added Carson Vitale as Minor League field
SEATTLE -- While almost all of their Minor League coaching staffs will return intact next season, the Mariners on Wednesday announced the hiring of several new Minor League coordinators, including hitting coordinator Hugh Quattlebaum and organization pitching coach Cody Buckel.
The Mariners also have added Carson Vitale as Minor League field coordinator and Brad Mills as a pitching development/rehab coach. Mills, 32, pitched 21 games for three different Major League teams between 2009-15 and pitched for the Mariners' Triple-A Tacoma club in '16 before injuries sidelined him last year.
The Mariners' eight other coordinators are returning for 2018, including Mike Micucci as the head of the Minor League operations. Micucci had the title of field coordinator last year, but was promoted to a new position as coordinator of organization instruction, with Vitale taking the job of field coordinator.
Vitale previously worked as the Latin America field coordinator for the Dodgers and was the manager of the Angels' Dominican Summer League team from 2013-15 during Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto's time in Anaheim.
Among other returning Minor League coordinators are Mariners Hall of Famers Dan Wilson and Alvin Davis, who are special assistants of player development along with former Major League pitcher Pete Harnisch.
Quattlebaum, 39, will now oversee the Minor League hitting program. He was an infielder in the Tigers' and Orioles' organizations from 2000-03, mostly in Class A ball, and has been worked as a private hitting instructor for the past decade in California and Georgia. He replaces Brant Brown, who was hired recently as an assistant hitting coach for the Dodgers' Major League club.
Oscar Marin returns as the Mariners' Minor League pitching coordinator and will work with Buckel, who moved into coaching this year after eight seasons as a Minor League pitcher and one-time top prospect with the Rangers. Buckel, 25, pitched last season in Double-A for the Angels.
The managers and coaching staffs for most of the Mariners' Minor League staffs were rehired, though former big league infielder Denny Hocking, 47, is taking over as manager at Class A Clinton after working as a hitting coach in Triple-A Tacoma last year.
The other managers return to the same teams, including Tacoma skipper Pat Listach, marking his fourth season with the Rainiers.
Darren Brown returns for his third season as the Mariners' Double-A manager, including his second in a row with the franchise's new Arkansas squad in the Texas League. Mitch Canham will be the skipper at Class A Advanced Modesto for the second consecutive year.
Jose Moreno returns for his second year as manager of Class A Short-Season Everett and 18th year in the organization, Zac Livingston opens his third season leading the Peoria club in the Arizona Rookie League and Cesar Nicolas enters his third season in the Mariners' organization, including his second as manager of the Mariners' Academy team in the Dominican Summer League.
Eric Farris, a nine-year Minor League veteran with the Brewers and Twins, was hired as the hitting coach for Everett, where Moises Hernandez -- the older brother of Felix Hernandez -- returns as one of the team's pitching coaches.
Jose Amancio will be the new pitching coach at the Dominican Academy, where Luis Matias is also a new hire as the assistant of baseball operations.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.