Meet Scott Steinmann
I spent Sunday afternoon checking out the Peoria Sports Complex, Spring Training home of your Seattle Mariners. Since we’re new on the Seattle farm this year, I thought it would be a great introduction to catch current and future Mariners at the beginning of their long odyssey.
It also gave me the opportunity to meet our new manager first-hand. Scott Steinmann has been in the Midwest League before with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, once as a player and again as a manager, but neither time while I was around. After watching him preside over morning bullpen sessions along with our future pitching coach Lance Painter, I got a chance to catch up with him and pick his brain.
Dave Lezotte: After managing double-A West Tennessee to the playoffs last year, what was your reaction on returning to the ? Especially to the city of Clinton, where you’ve been to as a player and a manager before?
Scott Steinmann: My reaction to going back to the Midwest League was good. I am honored that the organization would entrust me with so many young impressionable players that are the future of the. Like I told you today, I loved coming to the ballpark in Clinton early, as a player, coach and manager, because I would sit in the stands, eat, and think of all the great Major Leaguers that have played on that field.
DL: Is there a different managerial style with a young low-A club as compared to the more advanced double-A? What will LumberKings fans see in the way you manage?
SS: Patience is the only thing that has increased in my managerial style. Clinton fans will certainly see our players make some mistakes. We as a player development staff want our young players to push the envelope and test themselves daily. The more mistakes they make, the more opportunities we as a staff have to teach. We just hope that the mistakes are less and less as the year goes on. We play in a very big ballpark in, , so as an organization we want all of our players to run the bases and situation hit well so we have a better chance of scoring runs at the Major League level.
DL: Talk a little about the rest of your coaching staff.has big-league experience and has coached in this league before, Jesus Azuaje has extensive experience coaching in Venezuela. How will that experience help?
SS: This is the first time I will be working with both of them and I am excited to be a part of a
staff that has many years of experience coaching and playing at the higher levels. I will try to learn from them on a daily basis. Lance is an experienced coach that has a great handle on the mental side of pitching. Jesus is an infield guy that I will be personally leaning on to help me out with running our defensive positioning. I look forward to work along side these fine men.
DL: What is the process like of evaulating players in Spring and finding out who will fit on your team? How long does it take before you have a good idea who’s going to be on your roster?
SS: We, as a collective staff, (all staff not just Clinton) have lengthy discussions on players daily and in the end we try to put all the players where they need to be for their development. As far as the length of time that it takes to make these decisions, it could be the last day of camp before someone is on our roster. Due to injuries, trades, other releases, etc. we do not know the roster until the last day.
DL: With Jack Zduriencik and Pedro Grifol running the show, has there been any change in philosophy for the Mariners’ system?
SS: The overall philosophy of player development has never changed throughout time: “Never sacrifice a player’s development for a win!” We in the Minors are all about developing players that are going to make it in the Majors.
DL: What are your own goals and expectations for the season?
SS: 140-0…(I know you will run with this one). I have never planned on losing a game. We do not practice to lose a game/series. We do prepare for success everyday. I know that these are high expectations and no one has ever obtained them but that does not mean you have to lower your standards.
There’s plenty more coverage on the 2009 Cactus League coming on the LumberBlog, including more from Mariners camp in Peoria, catching up with former LumberKings with the Texas Rangers in Surprise, AZ and even a Milwaukee Brewers-Chicago Cubs matchup. Stay tuned.