Mariners pick Howell to manage Tacoma

PEORIA, Ariz. — The Mariners dipped into their farm system Wednesday to find a new manager for Class AAA Tacoma, promoting Roy Howell to fill the vacancy created when Rich Donnelly joined the big-league staff.

Howell, 60, was entering his second season as the hitting coach at Class AA Jackson. He played 11 years in the big leagues, primarily as a third baseman, with Texas, Milwaukee and Toronto from 1974-84.

“Roy is a very accomplished baseball guy, both as a player and as a coach,” said Chris Gwynn, the Mariners’ director of player development. “He is well respected in our organization for the work he has done the past two years. His expertise in hitting and his familiarity with many of the players we will have at Tacoma make him a great fit for us at that level.”

The Tacoma position came open last week when the Mariners promoted Donnelly to replace John Stearns as the third-base coach on the big-league staff. Stearns is recovering from hernia surgery.

Howell served as the hitting coach at Class A High Desert in 2011-12. Prior to that, he spent four seasons as manager of the San Luis Rattlers in the California Collegiate League.

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