Cedar Rapids Kernels
Manager: Toby Gardenhire
Hitting Coach: Brian Dinkelman
Pitching Coach: Cibney Bello, Justin Willard
As Tommy Watkins moves onto Chattanooga, Toby Gardenhire will assume the post as the Kernels manager. Gardenhire is, of course, the son of former Twins manager and newly hired Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire.
The younger Gardenhire started his professional baseball career after being drafted by the Twins in the 38th round of the 2002 draft. He played in the minors through the 2011 season making it as high as Triple-A Rochester. In 2012 Gardenhire made the move to coaching and became the head baseball coach at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. 2017 was his first professional coaching season where he served as hitting coach for the GCL Twins.
Brian Dinkelman returns for his third season as Kernels Hitting Coach, and his fourth season coaching in the Twins minors after getting his start with the GCL Twins. As a player, Dinkelman was drafted in the 8th round out of McKendree University. He spent most of his career in the minors but did make it to the majors in 2011 where he appeared in 23 games hitting .301/.346/.315.
Cibney Bello and Justin Willard both join the Kernels for their first season with the team as pitching coaches. Bello was serving in the same role with the GCL Twins. Willard comes over from Radford University where he was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.