Saturday, December 20, 2014

The minor league managers

The Twins on Friday announced their minor league managers and coaches, and there were quite a few changes.

The most important name: Doug Mientkiewicz will be the manager at Double A Chattanooga. There is no more important spot in the Twins farm system than this one. It should be loaded. Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano are likely to open the season there. Quite possibly J.O. Berrios also, plus Eddie Rosario, Jorge Polanco and the core of the bunch that won the Florida State League title for Dougie Alphabet last year.

Mientkiewicz was reportedly disappointed to lose out on the major league managing job, disappointed enough that there was some speculation that he might leave the organization. I regard it as good news that he's staying. I was pulling for him to get the big league job, and I suspect that he might have it in a few years.

Jeff Smith, the Double A manager he past couple of years, is moving down to the Fort Myers job, reportedly at his request. Jake Mauer will remain at Cedar Rapids, and Ray Smith at Elizabethton.

And Mike Quade, who got a year-plus as manager of the Chicago Cubs at the start of the decade, will be the successor to Gene Glynn as the manager at Triple A Rochester.

Quade became the interim manager of the Cubs in 2010, and they opted to hire him for 2011 instead of Ryne Sandberg, the Cubs legend and Hall of Famer. This displeased Sandberg sufficiently that he left for the Phillies, and he's now the manager there. Quade lasted only a year before being dumped by the Cubs.

Quade has 17 years as a minor league manager for five different organizations. He started when he was 28, and he's 57 now. (He's had some years as a major league coach interspersed with the managing gigs.) He was a roving instructor in the Yankees system last year.

I wouldn't have minded seeing Mauer get the Triple A job. Or Mientkiewicz, although I prefer him in Double A because that's where the future is, and I think he's part of that future.

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