The Mariners finalized their field staff for the Triple A Tacoma Rainiers’ 2012 season this week, with new hitting coach Jeff Pentland joining returning manager Daren Brown and pitching coach Dwight Bernard.
Brown has been in the Mariners organization for 12 years, including six as manager of the Rainiers. The Holdenville, OK., native has compiled a 864-765 (.530) record over a 14-year minor league managerial career that has included stops at San Bernardino, Wisconsin, Inland Empire and San Antonio prior to joining the Rainiers in 2007.
Brown owns a 353-338 mark (.511) with the Rainiers, and enters the 2012 season 23 wins shy of passing Dan Rohn as the winningest manager in the franchises history.
Brown guided the Rainiers to the Pacific Coast League Pacific North Division title in 2009 and led the 2010 PCL Champion Rainiers to a 61-54 record and a division lead prior to ending the season as interim manager with the Mariners.
Bernards 2012 campaign will be his ninth in the Mariners minor league organization and his sixth since joining the Rainiers as pitching coach in 2006. Bernard put together a 12-year pro career as a pitcher, including big league stints with the New York Mets (1978) and Milwaukee (1981-82).
Pentland joins the Rainiers field staff with 13 seasons of major league coaching experience, most recently as the hitting coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011. He previously served as big league hitting coach with Seattle (2005-08), Kansas City (2002-05) and Chicago Cubs (1997-2002), with minor league coaching stops in the New York Mets and Florida Marlins organizations.
Pentland fills the spot opened by Alonzo Powell, who was named the major league assistant hitting coach with the San Diego Padres in November.
Athletic trainer Tom Newberg is also set to return to Tacoma to begin his 26th season in the Mariners organization and his sixth with the Rainiers.
Charlie Kenyon will return for his third season as the clubs performance specialist.
The Rainiers open the 2012 season at Cheney Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, April 5, when the club begins an eight-game home stand that against North Division rivals Salt Lake and Colorado Springs.
Mariners Offseason News/Transactions
- Nov. 1: Announced Chris Gwynn had been named the organizations Director of Player Development with the responsibility of overseeing all aspects of the Mariners minor league system.
- Nov. 2: Outrighted INF Luis Rodriguez, who opted to become a free agent (Rodriguez appeared in 44 games for the Mariners in 2011).
- Nov. 3: Outrighted LHP Anthony Vasquez to AAA Tacoma. Vasquez, 25, made seven starts for the Mariners in 2011, going 1-6 with an 8.90 ERA (29 ER, 29.1 IP).
- Nov. 18: Added OF Chih-Hsien Chiang, INF Francisco Martinez and INF Carlos Triunfel to the 40-man roster.
- Nov. 28: Named infielder/outfielder Vinnie Catricala (High Desert/Jackson) Minor League Player of the Year, RHP Taijuan Walker (Clinton) Pitcher of the Year and Arizona League trainer Randy Roetter Player Development Staff Member of the Year.
- Dec. 2: Announced the 2012 minor league coaching staff, including returning managers Daren Brown (Tacoma), Jim Pankovits (Jackson) and Eddie Menchaca (Clinton); announced that Pedro Grifol, the Mariners Director of Minor League Operations in 2011, will manage High Desert, that Jose Moreno will manage Pulaski after spending last season with High Desert, that Rob Mummau will take over as manager for Everett, and that Mike Kinkade will manage the Mariners in the Arizona League after coaching in Everett last season.
- Dec. 12: Announced that RHP Dan Cortes and C Chris Gimenez would not be offered 2012 contracts.
- Dec. 13: Signed 11 players to minor league contracts for the 2012 season, including OF Darren Ford, RHP Matt Fox, LHP Steve Garrison, RHP Jarrett Grube, LHP Sean Henn, RHP Josh Kinney, RHP Jeff Marquez, RHP Scott Patterson, C Guillermo Quiroz, INF Luis Rodriguez and LHP Phillippe Valiquette.
- Jan. 30: Signed LHP George Sherrill, who previously pitched for the club from 2004-07, to a one-year contract.
- Jan. 3: Hired Jeff Pentland as hitting coach of the Tacoma Rainiers.
- Saturday: Tickets go on sale at 8 a.m. for spring training games at the Peoria Sports complex. The Mariners’ 15-game home schedule begins March 2. Tickets are available online at www.mariners.com/spring, by phone at 800-677-1227, or in person at the Peoria Sports Complex box office at 16101 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria, AZ. The Peoria box office is open 9am-5pm local time daily. Information on tickets for games to be played in Japan will be available soon.