Step one for the Mariners in their response to a disappointing season came Tuesday when they restructured their on-field coaching staff by firing bench coach Tim Bogar and first-base coach Casey Candaele.
"Making change is never easy," manager Scott Servais said. "You have relationships with those guys. The guys we let go, Tim and Casey, are both very good baseball guys who I certainly respect.
"They’re friends of mine, but it’s a business, and we’ve got to get better."
Interim bullpen coach Nasusel Cabrera will shift to another job in the organization. Cabrera was the club’s batting practice pitcher before replacing Mike Hampton as the bullpen coach at the All-Star break.
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The remaining staff members will return in 2018, although some are in different roles.
Third-base coach Manny Acta replaces Bogar as bench coach; assistant hitting coach Scott Brosius replaces Acta as third-base coach; and Chris Prieto shifts from special-projects coach to replace Candaele as first-base coach.
Edgar Martinez returns as hitting coach, and Mel Stottlemyre will remain the pitching coach. Bullpen catcher Fleming Baez will also return.
A new bullpen coach and a seventh staff member to fill Prieto’s former role will be announced at a later date.
"The role (for Prieto’s replacement) is yet to be determined," Servais said. "We’ve got a bunch of different ideas. We’ll probably talk to some people within the organization and outside the organization."
"Anytime you have open positions on your staff, I think it’s important to look all around the game. Look at it as an opportunity to talk to different people."
Bogar, 50, spent the last two seasons as the bench coach to manager Scott Servais after losing out to Servais as a finalist when general manager Jerry Dipoto sought a replacement for Lloyd McClendon.
Dipoto fired McClendon as part of major staff overhaul shortly after becoming the general manager on Sept. 28, 2015.
Bogar is a former infielder who spent eight of the last nine seasons as a major-league coach for four different clubs. He closed the 2014 season as the interim manager at Texas after Ron Washington resigned for personal reasons.
When Texas then hired Jeff Banister as the full-time replacement, Bogar took a job in 2015 as a special assistant to Dipoto, who was then general manager of the Los Angeles Angels.
Candaele, 56, also joined the Mariners in 2016 as part of Servais’ first staff and spent the last two seasons as the first-base coach. His responsibilities included baserunning and outfield defense, which likely led to his dismissal.
The Mariners made repeated baserunning mistakes throughout the season, and their collection of young outfielders, while possessing strong tools, often made fundamental mistakes.
Candaele played in parts of nine big-league seasons from 1986-97 before spending 11 years as an amateur coach. He returned to professional baseball in 2011 and spent four years as a coordinator in the Texas system.
Martinez became the hitting coach on June 20, 2015 and is the only on-field holdover from McClendon’s staff. Stottlemyre and Acta joined the staff when Servais became the manager.
Brosius spent 2016 as the hitting coach at Triple-A Tacoma before joining the big-league staff. Prieto spent three years as the quality assurance coach before shifting this season to special projects.
"Manny Acta slides into the bench-coach role," Servais said. "He’s managed five or six years in the big leagues. He has experience there to help me out in the decision-making.
"This gives Scott Brosius a chance to get back out on the field. This was his first year in the big leagues (as a coach), and he did a really nice job of helping out Edgar in the hitting side.
"Chris Prieto has been a behind-the-scenes guy who does our replay stuff. He has a long playing career in the minor leagues. Played in the big leagues a little bit. He gets a chance to get on the field."
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners