The Minnesota Twins have found themselves a pitching coach. At least, all indications are that they have. If this was an election, I think it would be called right now.
Neil Allen is a former Major League Baseball pitcher and was most recently the Triple-A pitching coach for the Tampa Bay Rays affiliate, the Durham Bulls.
The search became a two man race. Allen beat out Carl Willis.
Carl Willis is a former Major League Baseball reliever who did spend some time in his career pitching for the Twins. Willis was the Cleveland Indians pitching coach from 2003 to 2009 and then was employed in the same role until 2014 by the Seattle Mariners.
Willis was informed on Friday night that he would not be getting the gig with the Twins.
The pitching coach selection is a critical one for the organization. The fan base has been upset about the pitching coach for a string of years and hiring someone who isn’t another Rick Anderson will be a key step into appeasing a very ticked off fan base.
Also important: improving a pitching staff, specifically a starting rotation that has been nothing short of horrid in recent years.
As 1500ESPN points out, this is the fourth official signing to Paul Molitor’s staff. Tom Bruanansky is back as hitting coach. Rudy Hernandez is the in as an assistant hitting coach. Third base coach/infield instructor will be former Triple-A manager Gene Glynn. Eddie Guardado has not officially been named the bullpen coach.