Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gene Glynn, the coaching staff and the minor league managers

Gene Glynn wears a Rochester Red Wings cap while
visiting the baseball park in his native Waseca before
spring training in 2013. (Free Press photo by Pat Christman)
The Twins on Wednesday announced two hires for the major league coaching staff, Waseca native Gene Glynn will be the third base coach and Rudy Hernandez will be assistant hitting coach.

Two points about Hernandez before I move on to Glynn.

  • Hernandez is a 14-year veteran of the minor league system and a native of the Dominican, which makes him, I believe, the first native Spanish speaker on the coaching staff since Tony Oliva retired. 
  • The "assistant hitting coach" title is new to the Twins, but it's pretty much the norm for the "seventh coach" around baseball. Teams were permitted seven uniformed coaches starting in 2013. (The number is capped because uniformed coaches accrue service time in the pension plan.) The Twins didn't add the seventh coach until 2014 (Paul Molitor) and gave him different duties. Now they're joining what has emerged as the conventional alignment.

Glynn, of course, is the headline hire here. He's been the manager at Triple A Rochester the past two years and was interviewed last month for the managerial job that went to Molitor. Now he'll be on the major league coaching staff and, as is the fate of all third base coaches, blamed by fans every time he sends a runner who gets thrown out and every time he holds a runner who never scores.

I presume Glynn will also have a hand in infield instruction, his forte for years in the Montreal Expos farm system. And he has several years of experience as a scout with Tampa Bay, which I find intriguing because I've long had doubts about the Gardenhire staff's aptitude for evaluating current ability.

Glynn has also been working for a few winters now as a coach in the Venezuelan Winter League, which leads me to believe that, while not a native Spanish speaker, he probably has some ability in that language. 

The Twins still have four coaching slots to fill: Pitching coach, bullpen coach, bench coach and first base coach.

With Glynn moved to the big league staff, the Triple A job is open. A popular theory has Doug Mientkiewicz ticketed for that position. That may happen, but I think the organization would be better off with Mientkiewicz at Double A Chattanooga, which is where Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Jose Barrios, Jorge Polanco and a host of other important prospects figure to open 2015. Chattanooga figures to be the most important job in the farm system. 

The estimable Seth Stohs thinks Jake Mauer, who has run teams at three levels for the Twins, is a likely successor to Glynn in Rochester. I can see that. The Twins have also gone outside the organization repeatedly for Triple A managers, and that might well be the route they take. 

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