Monday, December 1, 2014

The coaching roles

A couple of winters ago, when the Twins dismissed half of Ron Gardenhire's underlings (Steve Liddle, Rick Stelmaszek and Jerry White) and reassigned two-thirds of the holdovers, the front office called the new jobs for Joe Vavra and Scott Ullger "infield coordinator" and "outfield coordinator" respectively.

It took a while for most of us to realize that they were also to be the base coaches during games, Vavra at third base and Ullger at first. (That arrangement decayed during the 2014 season because Vavra's hip went bad; for much, maybe most, of the year Ullger coached third and Paul Molitor first.)

This offseason, Gene Glynn was announced as the third base coach, Back to the established nomenclature, it appears.

Glynn was an infielder during his playing days, and he made his rep as a roving infield instructor for the Montreal Expos. I rather expect that he will inherit the infielders duty from Vavra, and that the next first base coach will be handed the task of finding a defensive outfielder in Oswaldo Arcia.

Molitor, as bench coach, was in charge of the defensive shifts the Twins employed in greater number last season, and Molitor made it clear in his introductory presser as manager that the shifts will continue. But Molitor's old job has been converted to an assistant hitting coach. I figure he'll delegate the shift work to new bench coach Vavra.

So as the Twins seek to complete the coaching staff, I would expect the final piece to be:

  • a former outfielder;
  • preferably with some base-stealing expertise; and
  • preferably non-white, to increase the staff diversity.

That's a combination that almost has to come from outside the organization.

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