SEATTLE – The Mariners made one significant change to their coaching staff following the 2018 season. At a small news conference at Safeco Field on Monday afternoon, manager Scott Servais announced pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre will not be retained for the 2019 season.
The remainder of the staff, including hitting coach Edgar Martinez and bench coach Manny Acta, have been invited back for next season.
“We met with the staff this morning,” Servais said. “Mel Stottlemyre will not be back with us. We’ll go in a different direction there.”
The Mariners issued the fewest walks in MLB with 400. That’s a club record for a season.
Seattle had five starters — Mike Leake (31), Marco Gonzales (29), Felix Hernandez (28), James Paxton (28) and Wade LeBlanc (27) make 25 or more starts in 2018. Seattle had the seventh lowest staff earned run average in baseball (4.13).
It was a somewhat surprising change considering Stottlemyre’s relationship with Servais. When Servais was first hired as manager, Stottlemyre was one of his first calls to serve as his pitching coach.
“Mel has been with me here since I got the job for the last three years,” Servais said. “I have a very close relationship with Mel. I just thought with where we are at currently and where we want to go moving forward, I thought we should go with a different voice and a different direction there.”
Reached via text message, Stottlemyre didn’t want to comment on the situation because it had just happened.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.