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Pitching Coach

Those of us who've been looking for new information were thrown a bone by this morning's Times:

But as one member of Seattle's pitching picture left , another possibility came into sight this week -- Mel Stottlemyre.

Sources said Stottlemyre had his formal interview with the Mariners. He is the man believed to be the favorite to fill their vacancy at pitching coach. Manager Mike Hargrove was in Seattle, possibly with this meeting as a focus of his visit.

Baseball Prospectus published an article about Stottlemyre yesterday afternoon, and it doesn't exactly read like a ringing endorsement. For every Shawn Chacon or Aaron Small, there are three Jeff Weavers or Javier Vazquezes. Highly-touted pitchers have made a habit of underperforming in New York, something that's frequently been written off as an inability to succeed under the bright lights of the Big Apple, but that really belongs on Stottlemyre's shoulders, at least in part. Some of the problem, at least in recent years, is that the Yankees have had a few lousy team defenses, but you also have to consider the possibility that Stottlemyre just wasn't able to push many of the right buttons during his stay in New York.

That said, while we can go on and on about whoever and whatever we want, the next Mariner pitching coach is going to be gauged by Felix Hernandez's performance and health. While Stottlemyre doesn't really have any experience with a young arm of Felix's caliber, few coaches do, so it's hard to predict what would happen with any of them. All we can really say at this point is that whoever gets hired is going to have the opportunity to earn himself a ton of praise, or a ton of criticism.