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Mariners Moose Tracks, 12/19/16: Thyago Vieira, Marlins Sale, and Russell Westbrook

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Letting you know everything you might have missed this weekend.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a relaxing weekend.

This weekend, Ryan Divish at the Seattle Times wrote a neat profile on relief prospect Thyago Vieira.

Vieira is fascinating on his own, and I’m sure we here at LL will write some articles about him down the line (Ethan talked about him a little in his latest installation of State of the Farm). I’d like to focus on something else here though.

The article suggests that Vieira’s breakout was thanks in large part to Bakersfield pitching coach Ethan Katz.

Katz had worked with Jerry Dipoto and Andy McKay before being hired as the team’s pitching coach last year. Many Bakersfield pitchers saw big improvements last year under Katz (Darin Gillies, Jake Zokan, Tyler Herb, and Andrew Moore to name a few). That’s more of correlation than causation of course, but it’s definitely a positive trend for Katz.

So far it seems that Dipoto and company have made some really solid hires when it comes to the minor league coaching staff. Scott Brosius — who was added to the Mariners big league coaching staff for 2017 — was the person who turned Mike Zunino around in Tacoma. The 32-year-old Clinton manager Mitch Canham was named the Mariners minor league staff member of the year. There’s a lot to like about the staff.

Sustainable winning comes from a farm system that can properly develop players. So it’s really cool to hear success stories about coaches just one year into a new regime, especially when it’s not just about one guy.

It’s going to be fun to see what happens next for many of these minor league guys now that they’re in (seemingly) good hands.

Now, onto the rest of the news.

In Mariners news...

  • MLB Trade Rumors breaks down the latest Mariners rumors.

Around the league...

  • Twinkie Town reminds everyone that it’s important to register to be an organ donor.
  • A’s closer Sean Doolittle dressed up to see Star Wars, again.
  • The White Sox inked Derek Holland to a one-year deal. Holland was a player commonly linked to the M’s as a potential signing.
  • A vote for Vlad Gurrerro should also be a vote for Larry Walker, says Paul Swydan at Fangraphs.
  • Jeffrey Loria may sell the Marlins, which would no doubt thrill Miami fans.
  • Bluebird Banter wonders where Michael Saunders will end up.

Anders’ picks...

  • Russell Westbrook is insane.
  • Another NBA story, but it was recently revealed that Spurs star Tim Duncan and head coach Gregg Popovich had a bond over carrot cake.