TACOMA, Wash. — Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto and Director of Player Development Andy McKay today announced the complete field staff for the Tacoma Rainiers 2017 Pacific Coast League season.
Leading the staff for a third season in Tacoma will be manager Pat Listach, who will be assisted by returning pitching coach Lance Painter. Hitting coach Dave Berg will join the Rainiers for his first season, while Brian Hunter lands in Tacoma as a coach. Athletic trainers Tom Newberg and BJ Downie, along with performance specialist Derek Mendoza, will also be returning to the City of Destiny.
Listach, 49, led the Rainiers to an 81-62 (.566) record and a PCL Pacific Northern Division title in 2016, the club’s first division crown since 2010. Under the guidance of Listach, Tacoma led the division every day throughout the regular season, and finished the year with the sixth best single-season winning percentage in franchise history. Over nearly six full years as a manager at the minor league level, including three in the PCL, Listach has posted a winning record of 407-355 (.534).
In addition to enjoying a six-year major league career as a player, Listach was also named the 1992 American League Rookie of the Year after hitting .290 with 54 stolen bases. He was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth round of the 1988 draft.
Painter, 49, returns for his second season as the Rainiers pitching coach, and his 12th season serving in the Mariners system. With his oversight, Tacoma posted a team ERA of 3.92 last season, the third best mark in the league and the club’s lowest ERA since 2001.
Over 10 seasons as a Major League pitcher with the Colorado Rockies (1993-96), St. Louis Cardinals (1997-99, 2003), Toronto Blue Jays (2000-01), and Milwaukee Brewers (2001), Painter logged a total of 450.0 innings in 314 appearances. He was originally selected by the San Diego Padres in the 25th round of the 1990 draft out of the University of Wisconsin.
Berg, 46, joins the Mariners organization as the Rainiers hitting coach after managing the Double-A Jacksonville Suns in 2016. Through 139 games under Berg’s leadership, Jacksonville batters struck out only 975 times last season, the third lowest mark in the Southern League.
The Marlins 38th round selection in the 1993 draft, Berg would go on to enjoy a seven-year Major League career with Florida (1998-2001) and the Toronto Blue Jays (2002-04).
Hunter, 45, makes the move to Tacoma after spending the last two years working as the hitting coach for rookie-level Everett. During the 2016 season, AquaSox batters combined to hit a league-best .282 while drawing 309 walks. In both of Hunter’s years with Everett, the club led the Northwest League in runs per game.
Hunter, the two-time American League stolen base leader (1997, 1999) boasts a 10-year Major League career that included time with the Houston Astros (1994-96, 2002-03), Detroit Tigers (1997-99), Seattle Mariners (1999), Colorado Rockies (2000), Cincinnati Reds (2000), and Philadelphia Phillies (2001). He was a career .264 hitter and accumulated 146 doubles, 241 RBI and 260 stolen bases.
The 2017 season will mark Newberg’s 11th year as the Rainiers athletic trainer, and his 31st campaign in the Mariners organization. Highlights from his career include 17 seasons as an assistant trainer at the Major League level, and a selection as the PCL’s athletic trainer in the 2009 Triple-A All-Star Game.
Downie and Mendoza, both in their second straight years with the Rainiers, will round out the club’s field staff as athletic trainer and performance specialist, respectively.
All season ticket options, group outings, and suite packages for the club’s 2017 season are available now and can be purchased by calling the Tacoma Rainiers front office today at (253) 752-7707. The most up-to-date news and notes about the Rainiers leading up to the 2017 season can be found by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand) and liking the team on Facebook.