Baseball America reported this week that Pete Dunn, veteran coach of Stetson University in Deland, Florida, was retiring a year earlier than planned, citing a troublesome recovery from knee surgery. One of the five finalists for the position is Jeff Smith, a Stetson alum who has managed teams on three different levels of the Twins farm system since 2006. His most recent assignment has been the Fort Myers Miracle of the Florida State League.
Of the current managers of the Twins four-full season minor league clubs -- Mike Quade of Triple A Rochester, Doug Mientkiewicz of Double-A Chattanooga, Smith and Jake Mauer of low-A Cedar Rapids -- Smith strikes me as the least impressive, although my opinion on such things is not worth a whole lot. His won-loss record is actually pretty solid, especially if you toss out what must have been a miserable first year at Double A New Britain (2010), when the RockCats went 44-98.
Whether Smith gets the job at his alma mater or not, it has to be said that Stetson has a great, if obvious, nickname: the Hatters. Of course.
Dan Rohlfing, a catcher-utility man who was for a few years annually one of the last players sent out of spring training for the Twins, is back:
Happy to announce I'll be back in the @Twins org again for next season! Back to where it all began in 2007!— Dan Rohlfing (@DanRohlfing) December 11, 2016
That the Twins needed to add a catcher to the upper levels of their farm system was pretty obvious after Stuart Turner was taken in the Rule 5 draft. I think Juan Centeno is still in the organization after being outrighted earlier in the off season, but I'm pretty sure Carlos Paulino, who bounced between Double-A and Triple A in 2016, is gone.
And that's Rohlfing's role: catching depth in the organization.
Finally, a link to recommend: A Fangraphs group interview with Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. My biggest takeaway: their favorable assessment of the Twins analytics department they inherited.