Larry Stone shares some welcome news:
Mel Stottlemyre and Lee Elia will not be part of the coaching staff of new Mariners' manager Don Wakamatsu, The Seattle Times has learned.
Stottlemyre, 67, served the 2008 season as Mariners' pitching coach after a 10-year stint with the Yankees. He said he heard over the weekend from Wakamatsu, who told him he had decided to bring in a new pitching coach.
Under Stottlemyre, Felix went from throwing 56% fastballs in 2007 to 65% fastballs in 2008, with corresponding increased fastball percentages in every single count but 1-2 (where he remained the same). Felix's performance took a step back at a time at which he should've been making progress.
If that's not reason enough to send Stottlemyre packing, there's also this:
"It was a really rough year, but I still enjoyed it."
This is a man who has lost his mind.
What it comes down to is this: what did Stottlemyre do right? If Wakamatsu were to call Stottlemyre and ask him flat-out "why do you think I should keep you around," what could he say? That Bedard getting hurt threw everything out of whack? That Roy Corcoran got a lot of grounders? Honestly, aside from its length, is there anything about Stottlemyre's resume that really makes it stand out? Because at no point this past season was I ever impressed.
As far as I can tell, Mel Stottlemyre is considered a good pitching coach because he was a member of the Yankees when the Yankees were awesome. And that just isn't enough. Here's to new blood.