Denny Hocking, a 13-year major league veteran, has been named by the Seattle Mariners to manage the Clinton LumberKings during the 2018 season.
Hocking joins the Midwest League club after working as a hitting coach for the rookie-level Arizona League Mariners in 2017 in his first season with the Seattle organization.
He has previous managerial experience, guiding two of the three teams he managed in the Angels farm system to playoff berths.
Hocking accomplished that in 2014 as the manager of the Angels’ Arizona League rookie-level team and in 2015 in the first of his two seasons as the manager of the Angels’ high-A affiliate in the California League, Inland Empire.
He arrives at Clinton hoping to bring some stability after three managers led the LumberKings to a 64-73 record during the 2017 season.
Pat Shine managed the team during the first half of the season but was ousted by the Mariners during the Midwest League all-star break.
His replacement, David Macias, managed the team for 45 games in the second half before leaving to become an assistant coach at Vanderbilt. Seattle reassigned its minor-league catching coordinator Tony Arnerich to manage the team for the final 25 games of the year.
Hocking played in the Midwest League in 1991, batting .255 over 125 games with Twins-affiliated Kenosha.
A 52nd-round draft pick of Minnesota in 1989, Hocking made his major-league debut with the Twins in 1993.
He saw action primarily as a second baseman, shortstop and outfielder while batting .251 over 954 major-league games during a career that included 11 seasons with Minnesota before playing for the Rockies and Royals during the final two seasons of a big-league career that ended in 2005.
Hocking began his coaching career as a hitting coach in the Orioles farm system, working at high-A Frederick in 2010 and AA Bowie the following three years before joining the Angels organization.
His staff at Clinton will include pitching coach Doug Mathis, returning from the 2017 LumberKings staff, and hitting coach Jose Umbria.
Mathis is in his second season in the Mariners organization, and Umbria has worked for Seattle for the last eight seasons, including spending last season as a coach with the Mariners’ Arizona Rookie League affiliate.