The Minnesota Twins recently announced two changes to their minor league coaching staff. Jake Mauer, former Manager of the Fort Meyers Miracle, will take over the reigns of the Cedar Rapids Kernels. The move sends Mauer from the team’s Class A Advanced affiliate to the Class A Affiliate, although it isn’t clear whether the move is intended to be a demotion.
The Kernels are a new team in the Twins’ minor league system, replacing the Beloit Snappers as the Class A affiliate. The Twins may have made the move from a PR standpoint, rather than a reflection on Mauer’s managing ability. It’s likely the team hopes that the brother of franchise player Joe Mauer will be a draw for fans to come and watch the local Kernels team and help encourage them to make a road trip to Target Field to cheer on the Big League club.
Replacing Mauer as manager of the Fort Myers Miracle is former Twin Doug Mientkiewicz. Mientkiewicz was drafted by the Twins in 1995 and started as a September call-up in 1998. He played for the team until he was traded to the Boston Red Sox during the 2004 season as part of a four-team deal that landed the Twins lefty minor league pitcher Justin Jones; Jones never played in the major leagues. Most of Mientkiewicz’s major league career was spent covering first base. Mientkiewicz spent 2012 as the hitting coach for the rookie league team for the Los Angeles Dodgers.