clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mariners announce affiliate coaching staffs for 2023

Meet the people helping the Mariners’ minor leaguers take the next step in their pro careers

Seattle Mariners Photo Day
this was Mike Freeman’s player portrait from 2017 but he could probably just reuse it as his managerial one
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Mariners have now announced their full coaching staffs for the 2023 season, from the major-league coaching staff with the addition of Stephen Vogt, to the Player Development and High Performance Staffs, to the affiliate coaching staffs. Here are the coaches who will be working with players at every affiliate in the organization; a star (*) indicates a person new to the organization.

Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers:

Manager: John Russell*
Pitching Coach: Jairo Cuevas*
Hitting Coach: Brad Marcelino
Infield/Base Running Coach: Eric Farris
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Michael Sadler
Athletic Trainer: Aric Quinney, ATC

With the departure of last year’s manager Tim Federowicz for a big-league job as a catching coach with the Tigers, John Russell joins the Mariners organization to helm the Rainiers. Russell has an extensive resume in baseball, having both played for 10 seasons in MLB and managed the Pirates for three years, from 2008-2010; he also served as the bench coach for the Orioles from 2011-2018. Most recently, Russell was the baseball technical director at the prestigious IMG Academy in Florida. As a player, Russell caught Nolan Ryan’s sixth career no-hitter in 1990 while playing for the Rangers.

Also new to the Mariners organization is pitching coach Jairo Cuevas. Signed by Atlanta out of the Dominican Republic in 2003, Cuevas earned the Appalachian League’s Pitcher of the Year award in 2005 before transitioning to a coaching role in 2013. The majority of his coaching experience came with various Angels affiliates beginning in 2015, and he was most recently the pitching coach for the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees (2019-2022).

Brad Marcelino returns as hitting coach for Tacoma; last year, in Marcelino’s first season overseeing Tacoma’s hitters, the Rainiers hit a franchise-record 216 home runs. Born in Sussex and a member of the British Baseball Hall of Fame, Marcelino will be coaching Mariners prospect Harry Ford for Team Great Britain in this spring’s World Baseball Classic.

Eric Farris will make the trip down I-5 from Everett, where he spent the past two seasons as skipper of the AquaSox, to join the Triple-A staff as infield/base running coach. He’ll be joined on the journey by Aric Quinney, who was Everett’s Athletic Trainer over the same period. Michael Sadler returns for a second season as Head Athletic Trainer.

Double-A Arkansas:

Manager: Mike Freeman*
Hitting Coach: Shawn O’Malley
Pitching Coach: Michael Peoples*
Assistant Hitting/Catching Coach: José Umbria
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Brennan Mickelson
Athletic Trainers: Amanda Lee, Andy Turner*

It feels disingenuous to put a star next to Mike Freeman’s name as I distinctly remember his tenure as a Seattle Mariner (2016-17), but he is new to his coaching career after concluding his six-year major-league career after the 2021 season. He’ll partner up with former Mariners teammate and Richland, WA-born Shawn O’Malley, returning for his second season with the Travelers, who will be able to show Freeman all the best BBQ spots in town.

New to the team is pitching coach Michael Peoples, who was drafted by Cleveland in 2012 and grinded his way up through Cleveland’s system before departing for the NPB; he pitched in 10 games for the Yokohama BayStars in 2020 before eventually declaring it a career and joining up with the Mariners to start his coaching career.

José Umbria moves up from Everett, where he’s spent the past two seasons, to watch over his former Froggies in Arkansas. Strength coach Brennan Mickelson makes the journey along with him. Amanda Lee returns as Athletic Trainer for her fifth season in the organization; she’ll show new hire Andy Turner the ropes in Arkansas, as he moves up in the baseball world after spending 2022 as an Assistant Athletic Trainer in the Phillies organization.

High-A Everett:

Manager: Ryan Scott
Hitting Coach: Mike Fransoso
Pitching Coach: Cameron Ming
Infield/First Base Coach: Sergio Placencia*
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Drew Weidner
Athletic Trainers: Dan Laberry, Stephanie McLain* ATC LAT

Former Mariners minor leaguer (2017-18) Ryan Scott gets his first gig managing after spending his debut coaching season with Modesto, meaning he’ll continue to shepherd several of his former Nuts up in the chillier climes of Everett, including top prospect Harry Ford. Scott is also a fan of elite baserunning, giving top speedster Jonatan Clase the green light early and often in games, making teams he manages fun to watch. Mike Fransoso moves up along with Scott in making the drive all the way up I-5; players he coaches praise him for his ability to help them when they feel lost in the batter’s box. Cameron Ming enters his second season with the organization but his first as full-fledged pitching coach; fans of the Orioles might remember the lefty from his three-year tenure in Baltimore’s minor league system, but on this coast, he’s probably better-remembered as an Arizona Wildcat, where he played from 2015-17. Sergio Placencia is new to both the organization and pro coaching, but spent the last six seasons with Glendale (CA) Community College as an infield/hitting/first base coach; during his tenure the team won the ABCA’s Team Academic Excellence Award in back-to-back years. Dan Laberry will also be on the move from Modesto up to Everett; Drew Weidner moves up from the Peoria complex for his second year in the organization. Stephanie McLain, the only other new face in this crew, was a Seasonal Athletic Trainer with Baltimore last season after graduating from the University of Dubuque with a Master’s in Sports Management.

Single-A Modesto:

Manager: Zach Vincej
Hitting Coach: Seth Mejias-Brean
Pitching Coach: Jake Witt*
Third Base/Catching Coach: Hecmart Nieves
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Jose Alcantara Beas
Athletic Trainer: Blake Wooten*

After he made his coaching debut last year with Tacoma, the Mariners liked the job done by Zach Vincej enough to hand him the keys to the Nuts. The former Tacoma Rainier will be joined by another former Rainier in Seth Mejias-Brean, who is hands-down one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in baseball. Both Vincej and Mejias-Brean were excellent infield defenders in their playing days, so hopefully some of that will rub off on the young players in Modesto, where defense can often be adventurous. Hecmart Nieves makes a move stateside after spending last season with the DSL Mariners; the Puerto Rican-born Nieves also has experience coaching for the Indios de Mayagüez in the LBPRC. The Mariners tap into their Driveline connection again with first-year coach Jake Witt, who comes over to Seattle after working with the DSL Orioles last season. Like most Driveline folks, he has a dense Twitter feed that will interest pitching nerds. Also new to the organization is Blake Wooten, similarly poached from Baltimore; Jose Alcantara Beas, the only returnee to the staff from 2022, begins his second season with Modesto and third in the organization.

ACL Mariners:

Manager: Luis Caballero
Hitting Coach: Brett Schneider
Pitching Coach: Todd Carroll*
Outfield/Baserunning: Rico Reyes*
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Cesar Velazquez-Mosqueda
Athletic Trainer: Randy Roetter, ATC

Caballero and Schneider both return for their second seasons with the ACL Mariners. Todd Carroll joins the Mariners for his first pro coaching job, but spent the previous 13 seasons as Recruiting Coordinator/Pitching Coach for MIT, winning the New England College Baseball Assistant Coach of the Year in 2015. I don’t know how to express in words just how Powerfully New England Carroll is (loves Brady, calls everyone “wicked smaht,” has a friend named Paddy), just go check his Twitter, which is delightful. Rico Reyes will also begin his pro coaching career with the Mariners after serving as Recruiting Coordinator/Assistant Coach at Odessa College (TX). Randy Roetter returns for his 22nd year with the ACL, and his 36th in the organization.

DSL Mariners:

Manager: Jose Amancio
Hitting Coach: Devin Fujioka
Pitching Coach: Bryan Pall*
Bench Coach: Guady Jabalera
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Ronaldo De La Cruz
Athletic Trainers: Ramire Cleto, Alfredo Alcantara

In his seventh season with the organization, Amancio receives his first assignment as manager; he’ll be assisted by legendary Dominican coach Guady Jabalera, returning for his fifth season with the club, and Devin Fujioka, also returning for his second season. Bryan Pall begins his coaching career after concluding his playing career with the Mariners, who drafted him in 2017. Pall, who underwent TJ surgery right before Sam Carlson, drafted in the second round that year, has been credited by Carlson as someone who helped guide him through his recovery, and several other players who have spent time around the complex, where Pall spent much of his time rehabbing and rehabbing again, also praise him for his leadership and thoughtful kindness. We wish him the best as he embarks on this new stage in his career.