Mariners Add NWL Alums to MLB Staff
• Tony Arnerich, named hitting coach (previously: Minor League field coordinator) Played three years in the Northwoods League, coached for three years in the NWL and was named to the Northwoods League All-Decade team.
• Andy McKay, named Major League coach and senior director of baseball development (previously: director of player development) La Crosse Loggers Field Manager from 2008-2012 with a record of 213-142. NWL Champion in 2012.
• Trent Blank, Bullpen coach and Director of pitching strategy. Eau Claire Express pitcher in 2009. 3-1 with a 4.43 ERA.
• Carson Vitale, Major League field coordinator. Wisconsin Woodchuck in 2009. Had nine doubles, 19 RBI and two stolen bases in 53 games.
• Pete Woodworth, Pitching coach. La Crosse Logger in 2009. Had a 4.75 ERA in 12 starts and allowed one run in 5.0 innings in a postseason start
Each of the promotions are fairly significant, perhaps none more notable than former Logger McKay transitioning to the big league dugout. McKay will also still oversee the Mariners’ player-development efforts, along with a title bump, though Emanuel Sifuentes, who was McKay’s assistant for the past year, will take over as director of player development.
McKay was one of Dipoto’s first hires shortly after he was named Seattle’s GM in October 2015. McKay, who was the peak performance coordinator with the Rockies for three years prior, specializes on the mental and psychological components of the game, and many of the Mariners’ mental-skills coaching tactics are by his doing. He’s worked with many of Seattle’s young core well before it reached the Majors, too — such as Jarred Kelenic, Cal Raleigh et al — which makes him a familiar face.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 28th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 270 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (LAD), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TOR). All league games are viewable live for FREE via the Northwoods League website at watchnwl.com. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.