Mariners Insider

Mariners hire Dave Hansen as hitting coach

Post by Ryan Divish on Oct. 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm with 12 Comments »
October 22, 2012 2:29 pm
TNT file photo from 2004

The Seattle Mariners announced this afternoon that Dave Hansen has been hired to fill the vacant hitting coach position for the 2013 season.

“I’m really excited to be back,” Hansen said via conference call. “I loved it (Seattle) as a player. Safeco Field is first class, as well as the organization.”

Hansen, who had a brief stints with the Mariners in 2004 and 2005 as a third baseman/bench player, replaces Chris Chambliss, who was let go after the 2012 season after two years at the position.

“I think Dave will be a good addition to our big league staff,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said in a press release. “He’s had success as both a coach and a player, and has a clear vision of how to help prepare our hitters to be successful.”

Hansen himself was recently let go as the hitting coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In an odd coincidence, Hansen replaced Jeff Pentland, last year’s Rainiers hitting coach and former Mariners hitting coach, midway through the 2011 season on an interim basis. The Dodgers removed the interim tag before this season. However, he was the only coach on manager Don Mattingly’s staff not retained for 2013. He was offered another position within the organization. But he chose to look elsewhere.

The Mariners – specifically general manager Jack Zduriencik – contacted him immediately.

“Other teams were involved as the process went on, but Jack and Eric were persistent,” Hansen said. “They had been keeping an eye on me since our first interview two years ago. They just wanted to make it happen, and I was more than happy to do the same. It feels good they were tracking me and wanted me back real bad.”

That first interview was for the same position two years ago. He was a finalist with Chambliss.

“At that time I didn’t have, I don’t think, quite the experience they were looking for,” Hansen said. “I needed to go get that experience, which I do have now.”

Before joining the Dodgers, Hansen worked for four seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks minor league system. He started as a hitting coach in 2007 as the hitting coach at Double A Mobile. He was then promoted minor league hitting coordinator from 2008 to 2010.

“I had the chance to talk to Dave several times, and have also talked to players and coaches he’s worked with, and we feel he is a great fit for our club,” Zduriencik said. “We look forward to having Dave re-join the Seattle organization.”

This season the Dodgers finished with an 86-76 record missing out on the postseason. As a team, they averaged 3.93 runs per game – fourth worst in the NL. As a team, LA hit .252 with a .317 on-base percentage and a .690 OPS (third worst in the NL).

His basic philosophy of hitting isn’t much different than his predecessors.

“We need to create pressure on the defense,” he said. “Obviously our number one goal is to touch home base, period, and to take the necessary steps to do that. That takes one-through-nine with the same mentality of how to get on base, drive runs in and do the little things to create runs. Within that, every guy is an individual and they’re going to develop their own approach to execute the right plan.”

Hansen spent most of his playing career with the Dodgers (11 years) as third baseman/utility player. He was a career. 260 hitter with a career .360 on-base percentage.

After signing with the Padres as a free agent before the 2003 season, he was traded to the Mariners in 2004 along with Kevin Jarvis and Wiki Gonzalez  and minor leaguer Vince Faison for Jeff Cirillo, Brian Sweeney and cash considerations.

In the 2004 season, Hansen appeared in 57 games for the Mariners, hitting .282 (22-for-78) and was traded back to the Padres for pitcher Jon Huber. After being released by the Cubs in 2005, he returned to the Mariners and appeared in 60 games, mostly as a pinch hitter. He hit .173.

Hansen and his wife, Julie, reside in San Clemente, Calif., with their three children.


Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. lmao..round and round. F u mariners.

  2. SandlotSam says:

    If Smoak, Ackley, and Montero start clicking next season he’s going to look like a genius!

  3. gonefishin69690 says:

    Who’s gonna be the new owner(s)?

  4. bbnate420 says:

    Another gem from tcronk.

  5. bbnate420 says:

    SandlotSam, signing a David Wright or Nick Swisher would probably help him there as well. A legitimate bat in the middle could make a big difference. Hopefully, the fences make a positive difference. Saunders and Seager make steady improvement. And Montero, Ackley, and Smoak start to play to their potential. A lot of ifs, I know. And I think Montero had a fine rookie year. I expect significant improvement from him. His doubles would raise dramatically if he could learn how to not run like a chicken with it’s head cut off.

  6. SandlotSam says:

    bbnate420, I agree about getting a legitimate bat to help out the young guys. The M’s said they’re looking to do just that so I’m counting on them to actually get it done and not just give it lip service. And it’s easy for people to get impatient with young players, I do that myself sometimes, but I see Ackley and Montero taking a big step forward next season, they both have too much talent not to. As for Smoak, he’s more of a long shot than they are, but I think he finally made the changes he needed to. And who knows, maybe Smoak will be the biggest surprise of all.

  7. Sablefish says:

    Well he could’nt make them any worse could he?

  8. bbnate420 says:

    SandlotSam, I have been a Smoak hopeful, but he played well at the end of 2011 as well. It didn’t translate to the beginning of 2012. I really don’t COUNT on him. It’s time to put up or shut up for him IMO. I would love for him to play well in ST and then take it over to 2013, but I’m not counting on it. I think all of the other good, young players need to be given their reps. I really hope Ackley turns it on in 2013. I’m expecting .275, 30 2Bs, 8-10 3rds, and 15+ HRs. Montero, .280+, 30 2Bs+, 25 HR+, and 90+ RBI. Swisher or Wright could make them better.

  9. SandlotSam says:

    bbnate420, Smoak is on the hot seat no doubt. I want to see a wide open competition at first base next spring and if Smoak has a great spring and keeps it rolling into the season then great, but if not then they shouldn’t keep trotting him out there. It’s show time.

  10. Palerydr says:

    I agree with your thoughts Nate I would love to see that type of improvement from those guys. I’m also in the same boat when it comes to Smoak I truly hope the guy can get it together for a full season if not time to pack your bags and set sail for parts unknown. I guess we’ll see if they really want a team that can contend if they sign a veteran RBI middle of the order type of hitter. Somebody the young guys can lean on somebody like Josh Willingham would also be nice but we would have to trade for him I believe.

  11. jawpeace says:

    Well with the Dodgers the team batted 252. Which was in the middle of the league 14 teams worst than them and 15 better. If he could get the same average out of the M’s that would be a drastic improvement.

  12. mojjonation says:

    I predict within the next 24 months we will see nearly an identical headline. “Mariners fire Dave Hansen as hitting coach”. The revolving door that is the position of Mariners hitting coach is obviously not the problem.

    With Nintendo running the show, I’m surprised they haven’t hired Mario and Luigi to be base coaches with Donkey Kong as a strength coordinator and Princess Pea as a cheerleader.

    Much the way that WSU is a great FCS school in an FBS uniform, the Mariners have the greatest collection of triple A talent a major league roster has ever seen. Until the M’s get a bat that actually strikes fear into an opposing pitcher, the losing will continue. Moving the fences in is window dressing for an anemic offensive team with barely enough pop to even have warning track power. Now they will lose 7-6 instead of 4-3. I’m betting even Felix is tired of this.

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