Former Twins player tabbed to manage LumberKings

Former major-leaguer Denny Hocking will manage the Clinton LumberKings this year, the Seattle Mariners announced Thursday.

Hocking played parts of 13 seasons in the major leagues (11 with the Minnesota Twins). A utility player, he was exclusively a shortstop when he played in the Midwest League in 1991. (He batted .255 with 2 HR, 36 RBI and 22 SB in 125 games with the now-defunct Kenosha Twins.) He coached in the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels farm systems before joining the Mariners organization last year.

Former Texas Rangers pitcher Doug Mathis is returning for a second season as Clinton’s pitching coach. He pitched professionally from 2005 to 2014, including parts of three seasons at the big-league level. He played in the Texas farm system when Clinton was affiliated with the Rangers, but skipped over the LumberKings and the Midwest League on his way to the majors.

Jose Umbria will serve as Clinton’s hitting coach. It will be his first season with the LumberKings and his eighth in the Mariners organization. The former catcher/first baseman played 10 seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays farm system, but didn’t play in the Midwest League. (The Blue Jays didn’t have a MWL affiliate when he played in Single-A.)

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