Assistant coaches come in all shapes and sizes in the MLB, but it’s not often they appear as near complete unknowns. Such is the case today, where the Mariners replaced well-established traditionalist Mel Stottlemyre Jr. with newcomer Paul Davis.
The Mariners have hired Paul Davis to be their new pitching coach. pic.twitter.com/nLW1janQ76— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) November 6, 2018
Since LL typically operates without much in the way of insider sources, there’s not a lot beyond the press release above that we have to go on. Paul Davis topped out as a Division-I baseball player at Creighton University, but seemingly made his way back to baseball after a stretch away from the game in the mid-90s. His background in psychology and education seems on-brand with Seattle’s holistic approach, which was recently detailed by Corey Brock of The Athletic ($) and meshes well with player development head Andy McKay. Davis spent 2018 as a roaming manager of pitching analytics for the Cardinals, presumably working with players at both the MLB and MiLB levels. Additionally, he’s been both the rehab pitching coach and the “Cardinals Pitching Mechanics Team Leader”. Beyond that, Davis has nearly two decades of coaching experience between college and minor league positions.
What seemingly appeals to the Mariners is the blend of pro-level experience, psychological and pedagogical training, and a history of work in biomechanical training.
Great having St. Louis Cardinals Paul Davis (Biomechanics Pitching Speciaist) here at The Sandlot going through some movements with our athletes. Always learning, always developing here. pic.twitter.com/aY0lA5Br7z— Brett Huber (@B_Hube38) December 1, 2017
What will be interesting to follow is how Davis meshes with the two other pitching coaches on staff. Davis joins new Angels pitching coach Doug White as the only other head pitching coach currently employed without professional playing experience. Brian DeLunas has been, seemingly, a strong positive influence on the staff, even in the face of significant obstacles, while former MLB stalwart Jim Brower offers a balanced array of expertise as well. Will Davis consistently be the Mariners representative on mound visits? And how big an influence will Davis have on what may soon be a dramatically different looking Mariners roster?