Friday, December 1, 2017

Minor changes

Some news out of the Twins minor league system Thursday:

Wilson is the most recognizable name in that bunch to me; he spent time with three different AL teams last season, Detroit, Texas and Tampa Bay. Astudillo has some ... how to put it ... unique characteristics, as summarized by this piece. But really, I expect the backup catcher to be Mitch Garver.


There will be more changes among the minor league managers. We already knew Doug Mientkiewicz was out as the manager at High A Fort Myers. Now Mike Bernardino reports that Mike Quade is shifting out of the job at Triple A Rochester. Quade had a rough year physically after being involved in a traffic crash during spring training. 

And Berandino says Tommy Watkins, who ran Low A Cedar Rapids last year, is "tentatively" ticketed for Double A Chattanooga in 2018. Jake Mauer, who had the Chattanooga job last year, "is said to be weighing his professional options after spending the last 10 years managing in the Twins’ system." Which implies that it's Mauer's choice. 

I would think the Twins would (a) want to keep Mauer around and (b) that he would be a logical choice for the Rochester job, but I remain a bit dumbfounded by the ouster of Mientkiewicz. I don't have a handle on the thinking here.

Another tidbit from Bernandino: Toby Gardenhire -- son of Ron, former Twins farmhand, former head coach at UW-Stout -- is likely to wind up with a managerial job somewhere in the system. I'll guess not at Rochester.


There's some more shuffling going on. Bob McClure, who's been a pitching coach for three major league teams and was a teammate of Paul Molitor in the long ago and far away of Milwaukee, is to be "senior pitching advisor," a new position. 

The Twins hired Japanese native Masa Abe, 39, as assistant athletic trainer, which is interesting if only because Shohei Ohtani's questionnaire specifically asks about the medical and training facilities.

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