Minnesota Twins: Amid Worst Season Ever, Team Finds New Direction

Sep 25, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano (22) throws to first base in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano (22) throws to first base in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

Minnesota Twins Reportedly Hire Indians’ Derek Falvey as Baseball Head of Operations

This edition of Ups and Downs won’t be focusing on the Minnesota Twins’ play from this past week because, let’s face it, it hasn’t been pretty in a while.

We’ll instead focus on next year as this season enters its final week.

Looking toward 2017 just got a whole lot easier for Minnesota. On Tuesday, they reportedly have hired the Cleveland Indians assistant general manager, Derek Falvey, as their new head of baseball operations.

While nothing is official, all the other candidates have been told they are no longer in the running. Minnesota seems as if they are comfortable waiting as Cleveland finishes their playoff run before making any announcement.

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Falvey, 33, will be the second youngest current baseball operative to be in charge of running a club. David Stearns, at Milwaukee, is now 31 after assuming the Brewer’s GM job last September.

Coincidentally, Falvey and Stearns worked together as co-directors of baseball operations with the Indians.

Theo Epstein and John Daniels are still the youngest ever to take over the reins of baseball operations for a team. Both were only 28 when Boston and Texas, respectively, hired them as general managers in 2002 and 2005.

Both Epstein and Daniels have led their team to early successes. Under Epstein, the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years in 2004, and another just three years later.

Daniels’ Rangers made back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010-11; their first ever as a franchise. So, it’s no surprise that the Twins went young and with a person steeped in analytics like Falvey.

In fact, all of the other candidates were in the same mold as he was. And all were from up and coming organizations such as the Indians, Royals, Cubs, and Blue Jays.

UP: To the Twins’ owners for hiring from outside the organization to run their team’s operations. It’s not the first time for the Twins to go young. Andy MacPhail was only 32 when he was hired as GM in 1985.

After firing Terry Ryan, the Pohlads created a new job title that a general manager will serve under. Falvey will take the helm, but the search for a new GM may still turn to the man holding the interim tag, Rob Antony – if he isn’t bitter losing out to Falvey.

DOWN: With six games to go, the Twins (56-100) have a chance to finish with the worst record in Minnesota Twins history. In 1982, a team filled with rookies, they finished with a 60-102 record. The Twins will also be the only team with a chance at 100 losses, even with Atlanta’s horrible season.

The Minnesota Twins won seven games in April, eight in May, and finished June in double digits with 10 wins.

After a winning month of July (15-11), the Twins carried that momentum into August, winning six of their first eight games.

After a stumble in Houston, the Twins recovered and swept the Braves in Atlanta to sit at 49-71. Since that night (August 17th), Minnesota has won only seven of their last 36 games as the pitching staff imploded and a series of injuries has limited Joe Mauer, Miguel Sano, and Eddie Rosario.

QUESTION MARK: The middle of the season spark seemed to save manager Paul Molitor‘s job. Will the horrible finish allow Derek Falvey the opportunity to look for new dugout leadership? Remember, Jim Pohlad’s insistence that the new boss will have Molitor on the bench came when the Twins were playing their best baseball. Now?

Next: Taking a Look at Target Field

STRANGE, BUT TRUE, STAT OF THE WEEK: Two things happened this past week that when looked at together, have never happened before. On Thursday, Brian Dozier hit his 42nd home run. On Sunday, the Twins lost their 100th game.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Dozier’s 42 home runs are the most ever by a player on a team with at least 100 losses. Cy Williams and Jeff Burroughs each had hit 41 home runs for their equally horrible teams in 1923 (Phillies) and 1977 (Braves).