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October 26, 2009 at 8:04 PM

Mariners pitching co-ordinator Dave Wallace moves on

Dave Wallace was known as one of the better pitching coaches of his generation, helping to develop the arms of Orel Hersheiser, Pedro Martinez and John Wetteland, to name a few. The past two seasons, since leaving the Boston Red Sox in 2006 and spending a year with the Houston Astros, he’d been with the Mariners. His first job here was as a special assistant to GM Bill Bavasi, and then this past year as the team’s minor league pitching co-ordinator. He worked closely with a number of young arms — Mark Lowe, Brandon Morrow, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Phillippe Aumont, to name a few — being groomed by the M’s for better things.
But Wallace is moving on, having accepted a job with the Atlanta Braves.
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told me earlier tonight that he’d recevied a call from the Braves asking for permission to interview Wallace for a similar position. Wallace was told he could interview if he wanted and did, then informed the Mariners he was taking the job.
The Braves have spring training in Florida, where Wallace lives, and also have their minor league affiliates much closer to his home than did the Mariners.
The Mariners are in the middle of meeting with several of their player development types and Zduriencik told me he should have a list of minor league coaches and staff available for release shortly.
As for today’s surgery undergone by Ken Griffey Jr., Zduriencik told me it came as no surprise. The team and its medical staff knew there was something irritating the knee and that the arthroscopic surgery would find what it was once there was a chance.
“He’d had a number of issues throughout the season,” Zduriencik said. “This was a case where they figured it was something he could play through and then get it taken care of once the season was done.”
Zduriencik described the bone spur removed from Griffey’s left knee as “a minor thing”.
In other words, nobody is prepared to say that Griffey’s 2009 season might have been demonstrably better had the bone spur not been there. And nobody — especially Zduriencik — is prepared to speculate on what the future holds in store now that the out-patient procedure has been done on the knee.
Zduriencik would not discuss the timetable for hearing whether Griffey wants to return and then figuring out what his role would be. He suggested that today’s surgery had to occur first — obviously, just in case something serious was found, which there wasn’t — and then added that he’d prefer not to comment for now on any of his pending free-agents.
Fair enough. So, there we have it.



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