Twins shake up their coaching staff
MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins shook up their coaching staff on Thursday, as they did not offer 2013 contacts to bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, third-base coach Steve Liddle, first-base coach Jerry White and head athletic trainer Rick McWane.
Additionally, the Twins reassigned hitting coach Joe Vavra to a new role as infielder instructor while also reassigning bench coach Scott Ullger to a new role as outfield instructor. Manager Ron Gardenhire will remain in his current role as well as pitching coach Rick Anderson.
General manager Terry Ryan was not available for comment, as he is slated to meet with the media on Friday along with owner Jim Pohlad and president Dave St. Peter.
The moves come a day after the club finished with the worst record in the American League for a second straight year. Ryan met with all of the coaches individually on Thursday.
Stelmaszek was the longest-tenured member of the staff, as he completed his 32nd year as a coach with the Twins. He got his start in the organization as the manager of Class A Wisconsin in 1978 before joining Minnesota’s coaching staff in 1981.
Liddle, who had been with the organization since 1987, was the club’s third-base coach for the two seasons after serving as bench coach for the previous 10 years. He also served as Twins Minor League Field Coordinator from ’99-01.
White joined the Twins organization in ’87 as a Minor League instructor before joining the Major League staff as first-base coach in ’98. He played in parts of 11 big league seasons with the Expos and Cardinals.
McWane spent 24 seasons in the Twins organization and the last eight as the head trainer after serving as the Triple-A trainer from ’96-01 and Twins assistant trainer from ’02-04.
Vavra, meanwhile, became Minnesota’s hitting coach before the 2006 season after serving as the Twins’ Minor League field coordinator from 2002-05. The Twins finished this season with the eighth-most runs in the AL out of 14 teams.
And Ullger served as bench coach for the last two seasons after serving as third-base coach from ’06-11. Ullger, who was drafted by the Twins in 1977, also served as Minnesota’s hitting caoch from ’99-05.
Candidates for promotions include Triple-A Rochester manager Gene Glynn, Triple-A hitting coach Tom Brunansky and Triple-A pitching coach Bobby Cuellar. Hall of Famer Paul Molitor is also a potential candidate to join the staff.