A late promotion within the Seattle Mariners organization has led to a managerial change for the Clinton LumberKings 10 days before the start of the Midwest League season.
Scott Steinmann, who managed the LumberKings to a 69-68 record in 2009, was named Tuesday to replace Chris Prieto as the manager at Clinton after Prieto accepted a major-league level position within the Seattle organization.
The change comes one week before the LumberKings are scheduled to arrive in Iowa from their Arizona spring training camp for the start of Midwest League play at Cedar Rapids on April 3.
“I think anytime you have a move this late, it helps to have someone coming in who knows the Midwest League and knows Clinton," LumberKings general manager Ted Tornow said. “Scott will do great job and we look forward to working with him during the upcoming season."
Steinmann was initially hired to work this season as the hitting coach for the Everett AquaSox, a short-season affiliate of the Mariners in the Northwest League.
He was promoted to the managerial spot at Clinton after Prieto accepted a job over the weekend as the Mariners’ quality control coach.
Prieto, who managed Pulaski to the Appalachian League title and a 41-27 record a year ago, will travel with the major-league team all season and work as a liaison between Seattle’s advance scouting staff, manager Lloyd McClendon and his coaching staff.
In announcing the hire, McClendon said Prieto would take information received from the video advance scouting group and apply it to the Mariners’ day-to-day needs on the field.
“It’s a great opportunity for Chris to be a part of the big-league staff and like our players, many of the coaches at this level are working to reach that level, too," Tornow said. “We wish Chris the best."
The move is the second involving the Clinton coaching staff since the start of spring training. Brent Johnson was named the LumberKings’ hitting coach on March 17 when Mike Kinkade was promoted to the same position at Double-A Jackson.
Johnson was the hitting coach at Pulaski last season, where his team led the league with a .265 batting average and led the league with an average of 5.5 runs per game.