The Twins filled a couple of significant, if behind the scenes, jobs on Thursday —filled them, in typical Twins fashion, by promoting from within.
The elevation of Brad Steil to farm director is easy enough to interpret. Jim Rantz, who held the job since 1985, is retiring, and the decision appears to have been his. Steil had been his No. 2 and was named interim farm director when Rantz announced his retirement about a month ago.
The Twins have been rather conservative in placing and promoting prospects, and I don't expect that to change. Such decisions are probably collegial anyway, but the appointment of Steil suggests that general manager Terry Ryan continues to favor promoting a player a year too late to a month too early.
There is a good deal more opacity to the training staff promotions. Ryan fired Rick McWane at the end of the season; on Thursday the Twins elevated his underlings one rung each: Dave Pruemer was named the head athletic trainer, Tony Leo the assistant
athletic trainer and Lanning Tucker the assistant athletic trainer and
Firing McWane indicates discontent with the training staff; promoting the other three suggests satisfaction with their work. I don't know how to square this circle.