The Seattle Mariners began their offseason in an interesting fashion. The day after a 12-0 offensive explosion against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim the Mariners fired hitting coach Chris Chambliss. The rest of manager Eric Wedge’s coaching staff will return next season.
After another poor offensive season – despite some improvements in the second of the season and progress by youngsters like Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders – it was clear that the Mariners would need a new man in charge of their offense. The Mariners finished last in all of baseball in batting average (.234), on-base percentage (.296), slugging percentage (.369) and on-base plus slugging (.665). The Mariners were also last in these categories in 2011. Chambliss spent 2011 and 2012 as the Mariners hitting coach. Previously, Chambliss, 63, worked as the hitting coach for the New York Yankees, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, and Cincinnati Reds.
The firing of Chambliss, improvements of young players, and moving-in of the Safeco Field outfield fences should all contribute to a more steady, powerful lineup next year. The Mariners shorter fences at Safeco could also increase the Mariners’ chances to sign a power-hitter; they currently lack a thirty-homer slugger.