Minnesota Twins Possible Pitching Coach Options

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 17: Pitching coach Carl Willis
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 17: Pitching coach Carl Willis /
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This offseason has seen the resignation and firing of a trio of long-tenured, successful pitching coaches that could be guys that the Twins consider for their role:

Jim Hickey

Hickey never made the major leagues as a pitcher, but he has seen plenty of success as a pitching coach. He began his coaching career in the Astros organization in 1996 in the Houston Astros organization, working his way to the point where he was the interim pitching coach with the Astros in 2004, making the World Series in 2005.

Hickey left the Astros for the Tampa Bay Rays before the 2007 season, and he’s had tremendous success in that organization working with young pitchers and really working with a diverse set of pitchers each season to bring about excellent pitching staffs, making another World Series in 2008 with the Rays. He and the Rays parted ways this offseason, and he could be a very desirable choice due to his work within an analytical front office.

Dave Eiland

Eiland had a 10 year career that was fairly non-descript in the major leagues, only pitching 373 total innings, however, he’s been considered a very respectable coach since retiring as an active player. Eiland worked his way up the minor leagues in the Yankees organization as a coach in the 2000s, eventually taking the role of the pitching coach for the big league club in 2008, winning a World Series with the Yankees. He was fired after the 2010 season by the Yankees. After a season with the Rays in an advisory role, Eiland was selected as the Royals pitching coach before the 2012 season and has served as their coach through their recent successful run. The Royals chose not to bring Eiland back for the 2018 season.

Derek Lilliquist

The lefty had a productive 8-year career in the major leagues with 5 organizations before retiring in 1996. Lilliquist began coaching in the Cardinals organization in 2002, and worked his way to the major league staff in 2011, where he served as bullpen coach. He replaced Dave Duncan as the Cardinals pitching coach the next season and has served the last six seasons as the team’s pitching coach before the Cardinals chose not to bring Lilliquist back for the 2018 season.

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