Monday, November 5, 2018

Thoughts on the coaching staff

Derek Shelton didn't land the Texas Rangers' managerial job. That went to Chris Woodward, who had been the bench coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

That obviously improved the Twins' chances of retaining Shelton on their coaching staff. He was Paul Molitor's bench coach last season and, I believe, the guy charged with running things when Molitor was absent.

A few days after Rocco Baldelli was named as Molitor's successor, the Star Tribune reported that most of the 2018 staff had been let go. The only retentions were the hitting coaches, James Rowson and Rudy Hernandez, and, presumably, Shelton. But almost a week after that report, the Twins have made no official announcements, and their website continues to list only one change, Baldelli as manager.

Presumably they are waiting to make the new staff known when they have all their hires made.

But let's say that Shelton is returning to the staff. Teams hiring a competely novice manager -- such as Baldelli -- frequently supplement him with an older bench coach with a deeper managerial background who can serve as a mentor and advisor. Shelton doesn't quite fit that prototype, although he is a about a dozen years older than Baldelli.

And that, beyond Shelton's unsuccessful managerial candidacy, might be part of the holdup. Do the Twins want to fit Shelton into a different role -- and how would that a different role sit with Shelton himself?

Shelton came to the Twins off a job in Toronto as "quality assurance coach," which, as it happens, was the same title Baldelli had in Tampa Bay last season. Shelton, who was open about his managerial ambitions, took the Twins job because he thought the bench coach job was a step up and a useful addition to his resume. I don't know if he would welcome a similar assignment a year later.

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