Friday, October 25, 2019

Good-bye, Rowson

James Rowson, who has been the Twins hitting coach the past two seasons, was reported Thursday to have taken a job with the Miami Marlins as bench coach and "offensive coordinator."

That last is, so far as I know, a unique title in baseball, and is apparently intended to denote Rowson's reponsibility for hitting instruction not only with the major league team but throughout the organization.

I have often wondered how much, and how effectively, organizations coordinate between the major league staff and the farm system. We have certainly seen examples in Minnesota of disconnect between two fiefdoms, most prominently over Jorge Polanco. The minor league people clearly had concluded that Polanco could not play shortstop, and when he arrived in Minnesota then-manager Paul Molitor wouldn't play him anywhere else.

Molitor's gone, but he clearly won that battle. Polanco is still the shortstop, and he's not vacating the post anytime soon. It's worth noting that the farm director and Triple A manager at the time are in a different jobs with the organizaton, now, although I doubt the differences over Polanco had much to do with either move.

But it's asking a lot to put supervising minor league coaching on a major league coach's plate. Rowson's not going to be spending any time with the Marlins' minor league teams during the season. Supervising from a distance may be possible, but it's unlikely to be as effective. That said, if the minor league instructors are to report to him rather than somebody in the farm system hierarchy, the expectations, suggestions and instructions may be more clear.

Anyway: The Twins have not only lost their primary hitting coach, but their minor league hitting coordinator as well. Peter Fatse was hired last week by the Red Sox as their assistant hitting coach. So the Twins have a couple of positions to fill along those lines.

1 comment:

  1. I think Polanco has survived as a major league shortstop. It seems pretty clear his best position is 2nd base. Eventually he will be relocated there if/when that becomes possible.

    Exactly how the Twins will order their infield over the next couple years is pretty murky right now, but I will be surprised if Polanco is still the full time starting shortstop in 2 years.