The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced that Mel Stottlemyre Jr. will not return to the team in any capacity for the 2016 season. Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa said that Stottlemyre informed the organization that he wants to be closer to his father, Mel Stottlemyre Sr. in the Pacific Northwest as he battles cancer. LaRussa spoke to azcentral sports about the situation:
"He’s been with us a long time and told us it was a dream situation be considered for the pitching coach job, but that his first priority is his dad and if he had an opportunity to be closer to his family that would be his preference."
After the D-backs fired pitching coach Mike Harkey earlier this month, this announcement means there are now two vacancies on Chip Hale‘s staff. Stottlemyre was expected by many to be a candidate for the position. La Russa has declined to name any other possible candidates either internally or externally although the team has interviewed Minor League pitching coordinator Dan Carlson for a spot on the D-backs’ staff.
According to La Russa, Seattle Mariners General Manager Jerry Dipoto has formally requested permission from Arizona to interview Stottlemyre about a coaching position. The Mariners are also searching for a pitching and bullpen coach.
Stottlemyre became the D-backs’ bullpen coach for the second time in December of 2013, helping to round out then manager Kirk Gibson‘s staff. He was the team’s pitching coach in 2009 and 2010, and after his contract wasn’t renewed following the 2010 season, Stottlemyre became the D-backs’ pitching coordinator.
After what he has done for the Diamondbacks’ organization, we wish Mel all the best as he pursues his next job and supports his dad.