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Mariners dismiss bench coach Brant Brown

SEATTLE — The Mariners announced Friday that they have parted ways with offensive coordinator and bench coach Brant Brown.

The Mariners also announced that director of hitting strategy Jarret DeHart and assistant hitting coach Tommy Joseph would expand their hitting roles. Mariners manager Scott Servais said the club would “add another pair of hands” internally to replace Brown in the near future.

“We have people within the organization; some of them have Major League experience,” Servais said. “They can come to work, hit the coordinators and different people that are coming through town to help.”

Brown was hired last winter for a newly created position with a specialty on the mental side, general approach and mid-game adjustments, complementing DeHart, whose emphasis is more on mechanics and swings. During games, Brown also served as bench coach for Servais, with whom he played in the big leagues in the late 1990s.

This decision comes as Seattle occupies first place in the American League West with a three-game lead, but with an offense that ranks among the least productive in the Majors.

The Mariners entered Friday with the second-fewest runs (211, or 3.6 per game) in the Majors. They lead in strikeouts (567) and rank 28th in batting average (.221), 27th in on-base percentage (.295), 25th in slugging percentage (.361) and 28th in OPS (.656) .

“We are still far from reaching our potential,” Servais said. “So I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. That doesn’t make this day any easier. There is no doubt that it is very difficult.

The lack of offensive production contrasts with the Mariners’ elite pitching staff, which has lived up to its lofty reputation and been one of the best in the Majors.

“Unfortunately, our collective production as an offense kind of led to this decision, and we all don’t feel great about it,” said Mitch Haniger, who was close to Brown and worked with him during of his first stint within the organization. in 2017, when Brown was working on the Minor League side.

“Brownie is not the one responsible for this. It’s not his fault. So as far as other reasoning goes, I have no idea. But we’re just trying to get our stuff together and move on. We all really enjoyed working with him. Very professional and a great hitting coach.

Brown was known for his unorthodox messaging methods, which is a big part of why he was a coveted hire. But there were times when his pre-match meetings became complex for some players.

“Everyone has their own coaching style, and that’s what makes coaches special,” Servais said. “But, at the end of the day, you have to connect with the players you have. … We have to produce. It’s the league of good. And, at the end of the day, we just have to get the most out of this group.

It’s the first time since Servais and Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto took over after the 2015 season that a hitting coach has been fired mid-season. The last time was earlier this year, when Howard Johnson was fired and replaced by Mariners icon and Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez.

Brown was highly touted by Servais and the Seattle front office after landing multiple interviews last November. He appeared on the Mariners’ radar shortly after bullpen coach Stephen Vogt took over as Guardians manager on November 6. Had he stayed, Vogt would have been promoted to bench coach in Seattle two years after playing. career.

At that time, Seattle’s front office was going through an aggressive offseason reinventing its strikeout-prone, boom-or-bust offense.

Brown had great success helping the Marlins reach the playoffs in 2023 in his only year as hitting coach. Prior to that, he was esteemed for his role with the Dodgers as assistant hitting coach (2018-19) and then hitting coach (2020-22).

Brown’s ties to the Mariners date back to 2012-17, when he was the club’s Minor League outfield coordinator (2012-16) and offensive coordinator in the player development system (2017).

News Source : www.mlb.com
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