The Minnesota Twins have manager Rocco Baldelli in place and there is now gaining clarity to who his staff will be as Garvin Alston will not return in 2019.
As the Minnesota Twins brought on board newly hired manager Rocco Baldelli, it was assumed that there would be a shakeup in the coaching staff. Tuesday we learned of the first of those shakeups as it was announced that Garvin Alston will not be returning to the team after one season as the Twins pitching coach.
We also learned Tuesday that while Alston will not be retained, hitting coach James Rowson and assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez will remain in the club in their current roles. After being one of the candidates interviewed for the managerial opening Rowson’s status with the team did seem to be up in the air a little so it is good to get clarity on his standing with the Twins.
When looking at the on-field product of the Twins, it seemed that in his first season Alston did plenty of good things as the overall pitching product of the Twins was an improvement over 2017. Kyle Gibson and Jose Berrios continued their development as starters and Ryan Pressly rounded himself into a very good reliever before being traded to the Houston Astros at the trade deadline.
In those bright spots, there were still plenty of aspects of the pitching staff that can be called into question. What happened to Lance Lynn? Why did Addison Reed struggle so much in 2018? Those questions, along with the fact that Baldelli will likely want his own pitching coach ultimately seems to have led the Twins to this decision.
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As pointed out by Dan Hayes of The Athletic, Baldelli will likely need to lean on his pitching coach heavily in his first year as a manager. There will likely be nuances to pitching changes Baldelli will need help navigating. Not to mention as a position player himself in his playing days, having someone else who knows pitchers and what they go through that the new manager trusts will be very valuable going into 2019.
As the search for a new pitching coach has likely already begun, we still wait for the fate of several other members of the coaching staff. Hayes continues to confirm the reports that Jeff Pickler will likely be moving into a front office role. As this is being typed up it has also been announced that bullpen coach Eddie Guardado and first base coach Jeff Smith will not be returning to the club either. We are still awaiting word on third base coach Gene Glynn. (Editors note: We have since learned that Glynn was also let go from his coaching position.) It also has been reported that bench coach Derek Shelton, who was a finalist for the Twins manager position, has been granted permission to interview with another MLB club.
Stay tuned to Puckett’s Pond as these and other offseason moves are announced. The changes have only begun!