Minnesota Twins: Salazar fired, 2022 Coaching Staff to Remain for 2023

Rocco Baldelli and Derek Falvey of the Minnesota Twins look on before the start of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Rocco Baldelli and Derek Falvey of the Minnesota Twins look on before the start of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

With the disappointing 2022 season in the rearview mirror, the Minnesota Twins can now start looking towards the 2023 season. This means new players, new jerseys, and apparently, a new head athletic trainer:

Opinions aside on whether the Twins had the talent to be a competitive team when fully healthy or if they had the depth to compete, it’s easy to see why Michael Salazar was let go. He simply had a terrible year.

The Minnesota Twins fired head athletic trainer Michael Salazar but will retain the rest of the 2022 coaching staff.

The Twins spent the second-most days in all of baseball on the injured list, and issues were present in other areas too. It wasn’t just how many injuries occurred, as injuries are mostly unavoidable in sports. It was everything that occurred after the injury.

Several Twins who were expected to miss a short amount of time or return over a span of a few months became lost for the season. Byron Buxton, Trevor Larnach, Jorge Alcala, Jhon Romero, and Bailey Ober all had their timelines lengthened by a weeks (at least), despite a relatively shorter original timeline with very little often said about what was going on.

Now sure, guys like Buxton and Kenta Maeda may have been held out because the team was tanking, but to have all those guys miss so much time and have no idea when they’ll be back is embarrassing. In addition, guys like Alex Kirilloff and Tyler Mahle were not well taken care of, and a large chunk of that falls on the head trainer.

In a Minnesota Twins season where so much went wrong, the team had to make a move. Firing your head trainer makes sense. What doesn’t make much sense is the other piece of news that Derek Falvey shared:

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been a big advocator for Rocco to be back. The Twins need to make clear that improvements need to be made, and they’ve said that. But no adjustments to the rest of the staff? That part is a bit confusing.

The hitting coaches did a solid job, producing an offense that was among the five best in the American League in their first year. That’s decent enough with room for improvement. Bench coach Jayce Tingler and quality control coach Nate Dammann did solid work. The pitching coaches deserve a full season to show what they can do.

I recognize how much the players and organization like Tommy Watkins, but he made a lot of as the third base coach. Conger was solid as the first base coach, but the team’s catching struggled. I was looking for both to have their positions adjusted, but neither occured.

The Twins still have a ton of adjustments on the way, and moving on from Salazar is a good start. It will become very interesting to see how the group does next year in its second year as a group and will become clear in short order if the front office made the right call.

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