Keeping Tom Brunansky Should Be Priority For Twins New Manager
As Puckett Pond’s Collin Kottke reported three days ago, long-time Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson would not be returning in any capacity with the Minnesota Twins in 2015, the first of many dominoes to fall with the coaching staff since manager Ron Gardenhire was terminated as manager a week ago. With all of the assistant coaches on year-to-year contracts, they are still technically employed with the Minnesota Twins until December 31st, leaving many of them in a state of limbo regarding their employment. One of those assistants is hitting coach Tom Brunansky, and unlike Anderson, his outlook with the Twins is much less definitive. In fact, whoever is hired as the next Twins manager should have retaining Bruno as one of his top priorities.
Of the many failings of the 2014 Minnesota Twins, hitting was not one of them. The offense ranked 7th in runs, 9th in hits, 11th in batting average, and 9th in OPS. The Twins were 1st overall in runs in all of baseball after August 1st. For a team that ranked only 19th in homeruns and have their top hitter struggle mightily much of the year, the fact that they were able to achieve top-10 status in many of the important statistics reflects very well on Brunansky and his coaching.
Brunansky has worked heavily with players like Trevor Plouffe and Oswaldo Arcia, reducing the holes in their swings and making them better hitters overall. His experience with many players on the staff during his stints as hitting coach for Gulf Coast, New Britain, and Rochester has proven to be invaluable. Also with that experience, he has shown an ability to teach and coach young players, an attribute that will benefit the team greatly in the next few years with many of the top prospects facing major league pitching for the first time.
The last point is that the Twins should lock up Brunansky soon, as other opportunities are and will be presenting themselves to the respected former outfielder and up-and-coming hitting coach. As the Pioneer Press’s Mike Bernadino hinted:
To lose Brunansky to the shuffle and transition of bringing in a new manager would be a shame. It’s one domino that the Minnesota Twins cannot afford to let fall.
Until next time…