Rocco Baldelli, Tampa Bay Rays Field Coordinator
Rocco Baldelli is currently the Tampa Bay Rays field coordinator and has already received an interview with the Twins. When Baldelli took on his newly created role with the Rays last season he was put in a role that seems as it would translate well as he looks to become a major league manager.
As described by the Tampa Bay Times after the role was assigned to Baldelli he has spent the last season in his role helping implement ideas and information from the coaching staff, assisting the manager and bench coach, while coordinating the outfield defense, and having contact with the minor-league coaching staffs.
Those may not be direct managing duties, but having to be a link between so many different people and groups of people takes good leadership and communication skills. That makes the former first round pick as a player part of that group the Twins are focusing in on for their vacant position. It sounds like the Toronto Blue Jays are also in the mix for Baldelli.
Joe Espada, Houston Astros Bench Coach
When as a team you have been a World Series champion and win 103 games the next season, other teams are going to want to hire your coaching staff. The Boston Red Sox already hired the Houston Astros bench coach of 2017, Alex Cora, as their manager. Now the 2018 bench coach, Joe Espada is getting looks for managing gigs this season.
Before serving as the bench coach in Houston, Espada had spent three seasons as the Yankees third base coach under Joe Girardi. Previous to that his coaching experience included a stint as the third base coach with the Marlins as well as a number of minor league roles with the Florida based team.
Espada’s status as a former player and native of Puerto Rico has given him the opportunity to coach for the Puerto Rican national team in 2013. Something that would certainly give some immediate connection to current Twins Eddie Rosario and Jose Berrios. Maybe the front office would also believe that Espada’s Puerto Rican heritage may help him connect with other Spanish-speaking players.
While the Twins show interest in Espada he has also drawn interest from the Texas Rangers and their vacant manager position.