Monday, November 19, 2018

Thoughts on the coaching staff

There's still a coach to be named, but the Twins this weekend largely filled out the coaching staff. A few thoughts:

* The era when coaches were largely the drinking buddies of the manager are clearly past, at least in Minnesota. It appears that the only one of these seven with a previous connection to Rocco Baldelli is Derek Shelton, and he's a holdover who's probably only with the Twins until he can land a managerial job elsewhere.

* A concept the Twins had emphasized a few years ago when restructuring the coaching staff -- positional coaches -- seems to be less of a focus. Last year, for example, Jeff Smith had the catchers, Gene Glynn the infielders and Jeff Pickler the outfielders. There is no former catcher on the staff right now, and Tony Diaz and Tommy Watkins were identified as third-base and first-base coaches respectively.

* Baldelli answered a question at his introductory presser with a brief commentary on the need for a highly diverse coaching staff. This crew has at least three guys with skin too dark to be acceptable in the pre-Jackie Robinson era, two native Spanish-speakers and a career college coach who apparently never played pro baseball. Yeah, this is a staff of varied backgrounds.

* Jeremy Hefner is identified not as "bullpen coach" but as "assistant pitching coach." Perhaps he'll be stationed in the bullpen during games, perhaps not. I rather suspect that the holdup on the final coach is that they'd like it to be Chris Gimenez, and Gimenez is checking to see if there's still a playing opportunity first.   

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