Minnesota Twins in search of new bench coach as Vavra departs

MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 9: Relief pitcher Juan Rincon
MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 9: Relief pitcher Juan Rincon /

The Minnesota Twins had filled out their major league coaching staff with the hire of a pitching coach, but on Tuesday, they found out a long-time coach would be leaving the staff

After the Minnesota Twins hired Garvin Alston to be the new pitching coach, they believed that they were done with filling out their major league coaching staff. That was true, until bench coach Joe Vavra informed the team on Tuesday that he would be leaving the organization to take the role of quality control coach for the Detroit Tigers under former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

Vavra’s Minnesota Twins tenure

Joe Vavra has been with the Minnesota Twins organization for quite some time. He joined the Twins in 2002 after serving time in the Dodgers minor league system as a manager before spending a short time with University of Wisconsin-Stout as the head coach.

Vavra served multiple roles for the Twins in his 15-year coaching tenure in the organization. He began as the hitting coach in 2005 and served in that capacity until 2012. He moved to the third base caoch in 2013, and he’s served as the bench coach since 2015.

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Where to look?

The Minnesota Twins will look for a new bench coach from both internal and external sources. Internally, on option that many believe would be a feasible option is bullpen coach Eddie Guardado. There are a few that believe that first-year coach Jeff Pickler, who works as the outfield instructor and oversees game preparation by coaches and players and is a favorite of the front office.

A couple of prime managerial candidates could be quality candidates from outside of the organization. Indians first base coach Sandy Alomar, Jr. has been considered a future manager for numerous years, but he would be a guy that Derek Falvey is quick familiar with. Another guy that comes from an organization that the front office has seemed to work with frequently in hires would be Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward.

Next: Twins Bullpen Options for 2018

Other Gardenhire former Twins hires

While not all of his staff has been leaked, Gardenhire is still putting it together, and MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reported that former long-time Minnesota Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson will be brought to Detroit as the Tigers bullpen coach.