Is Paul Molitor the right manager for the Twins?
This question just keeps coming up. It felt like it went away at the end of last season after Paul Molitor led the Twins to an 85-77 record, a trip to the playoffs, and then received a shiny new contract at season’s end. Amazing how quickly things can change. Now as the Twins sit at 49-58 and have missed the opportunity to compete in a weak division, Molitor’s managing ability is under fire once again.
When things are going well, it appears that the old-school, former player instincts of Molitor pairs well as a balance to the more analytics heavy front office led by Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. When everything is going poorly, like it has been lately, it is only natural to wonder if Molitor just is not the right manager for this team with this front office in leadership.
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One of the most frustrating habits of Paul Molitor’s is the way he manages his bullpen. He continually seems to ignore certain pitchers while working others way too hard. Last season we saw it happen most glaringly with Trevor Hildenberger being used heavily down the stretch. This season we have seen it with several guys, but it has possibly negatively affected Addison Reed the most and caused Matt Magill to be ignored for weeks at a time.
Another aspect of the Twins that has been absolutely frustrating is their inability to run the bases with any skill. This may not be fully Molitor’s fault or even within his control. It does certainly seem strange that Molitor was one of the best at running the bases as a player and now the team he leads just commits some head-scratching errors on the base paths.
Ultimately, the Twins winning with Molitor in the dugout is a fun Twins team to follow. A St. Paul guy leading a team that wears a “TC” on their cap to help recognize his hometown on their caps just seems like a story that needs to be written. The Twins failures in 2018 really rest mainly on the performance of key players, but a losing season does present the perfect opportunity for the front office to make a change if they so wish.