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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

December 3, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Adair interviewed for pitching coach job

I know we’ve been telling you the Mariners wanted to bring Texas Rangers minor league pitching co-ordinator Rick Adair in as a bullpen coach. Well, guess what? The Mariners have interviewed Adair for the job of pitching coach. That’s right, pitching coach. Not bullpen coach. Sorry about that. We try to get you what we know, when we know it. That’s not always the same as being right.
Anyhow, the Mariners finally contacted the Texas Rangers this week to ask for permission to speak to Adair, who is highly prized within that organization. And the permission given was to interview Adair for the pitching coach job, not that of bullpen coach.
Still waiting to see what this means for Dom Chiti, who is close friends with Adair. As far as I know, the team hasn’t spoken to anyone other than Adair about the pitching coach position. Chiti told us this morning that he has yet to be contacted by the Mariners. So, maybe Chiti gets shut out. Or, perhaps he comes in as the bullpen coach? That makes more sense, given Adair’s wealth of experience. Adair was a pitching coach under Mike Hargrove in Cleveland, you may recall. And also handled that role for a brief time in Detroit. His experience as a pitching coordinator in the minors should also help him take a more global view toward his job with the Mariners.
We expect the pitching coach to be announced in the next day or so. Before the winter meetings. Same with the hitting coach, the third base coach and the bullpen coach.
Speaking of Mike Hargrove’s Indians, we’re still waiting to see whether all that buzz about corner infielder Russell Branyan being the mystery free-agent contacted by the Mariners comes to fruition. The onetime “can’t miss” prospect, who appeared in 50 games for Milwaukee last season, turns 33 in a few weeks. He put up a .342 on-base percentage and .583 slugging percentage in only 132 at-bats last season. Those are great numbers if he can keep them up. His career OPS is an impressive .813, even if he does average 100 strikeouts per season.
But as a lefty bat, the M’s could do worse. Like I said, Branyan is not Manny Ramirez or Mark Teixeira as far as splashes go. But this is also the type of potentially underrated player that new GM Jack Zduriencik is supposed to specialize in. You wanted a guy who could spot underrated talent. Now, you’ve got one. And if this turns out to be his first real move, it could lead to some positive gains down the road.

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