Double-A hitting coach Howell is new Triple-A manager

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners filled their managerial opening at Triple-A Tacoma by promoting former Major League third baseman Roy Howell from his previous position as hitting coach for Double-A Jackson.

Howell, 60, replaces Rich Donnelly, who was brought in as the Mariners' third-base coach when John Stearns stepped down for health reasons.

"Roy is a very accomplished baseball guy, both as a player and as a coach," Mariners director of player development Chris Gwynn said. "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."

Howell, who spent 11 seasons in the Majors with the Rangers, Brewers and Blue Jays, was a coach in the Padres' system for six years and returned to coaching with a Major League franchise when he became the hitting coach for Class A High Desert in 2012. In his two years working with the Mavericks' hitters, High Desert set franchise highs in several categories in 2012 and ranked third in all the Minor Leagues in runs score (827) in 2013.

John Schlegel is a national reporter for You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.