Mel Stottlemyre, who always has had family ties to the Diamondbacks, now will receive a paycheck from them, too. Stottlemyre, a long-time major league pitcher and most recently the New York Yankees’ pitching coach, joined the organization as a special instructor.
Stottlemyre, 65, will work with D-Backs’ pitchers and coaches during spring training, which opens Feb. 17, and will stay mostly on the player development side during the regular season.
“He is one of most well-respected people in the game,” D-Backs general manager Josh Byrnes said. “It is a valuable brain to pick.”
Mel Stottlemyre Jr. is the D-Backs’ roving pitching instructor, and Todd Stottlemyre signed a four-year deal with the D-Backs in 1999.
Stottlemyre also knows manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Bryan Price.
“It’s something we talked about even last year,” said Byrnes, when Stottlemyre retired after 10 years as the Yankees’ pitching coach but remained with them on a part-time basis.
“He spent a lot of his life in his Yankees uniform, but he was a natural fit for this organization. It is a great opportunity to bring in someone of his influence. He has some built-in relationships here.”
Stottlemyre won 164 games in 11 seasons as a Yankees’ starter, retiring in 1974, and was a major league pitching coach for 22 seasons – 10 with the Mets, two with Houston and the last 10 with the Yankees.
COME ON DOWN
The D-Backs invited 17 non-roster players to spring training, including pitchers Jeff Bajenaru, Adam Bass, D.J. Carrasco, Matt Elliott, Chad Harville, Bill Murphy, Micah Owings and Greg Smith.
Catchers Wilkin Castillo, Josh Ford and Mark Johnson; infielders Chris Carter, Augie Ojeda and Mark Reynolds; and outfielders Dee Brown, Rich Thompson and 2005 No. 1 draft choice Justin Upton also are invited.
The first full-squad workout is Feb. 22.
Jay Bell, the D-Backs’ bench coach the past two seasons, will be in spring training as a special instructor for the first time. Matt Williams and Will Clark also will serve as special instructors, each for the third season. … The D-Backs added a split-squad exhibition game in Yuma to their spring training schedule. The D-Backs will play San Diego at 1:05 p.m. on March 24. They also have a game vs. the White Sox at TEP that afternoon.