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Article: Tyler Jay and Baseball's Evolving Bullpen

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:00 AM
Twins fans were recently hit with the news that former first round pick Tyler Jay will be moved to the bullpen. This is disappointing new...
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Article: Report From The Fort: Decisions And Divides

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:00 AM
Pop quiz, hot shot: When the rubber meets the road, what makes everything move forward?Answer: Friction.For a team that was supposedly go...
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Article: Report From The Fort: Batting Order Time!

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:24 AM
I’ve got good news for the batting order obsessed: it’s finally your time. With more regulars playing more games this week, it’s time to...
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Accounting for the Runs in Your Predicted 2017 Twins Wins

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:00 PM
The Twins gave up 889 runs last season and scored 772 for a run differential of -167 runs. Knowing the Twins will improve about 2 games f...
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Article: Report From The Fort: Berrios Gone, Duffey v. Mejia

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:00 PM
The place to be this morning for Twins baseball nerds was Boston’s minor league fields to see Tyler Duffey and Adalberto Mejia, both batt...
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Bloodbath

Attached Image: axe.jpg After approaching 100 losses in back-to-back seasons, the Twins clearly needed to make some changes. As we put it when introducing our Offseason Handbook yesterday, complacency was not going to be an option this winter.

They wasted little time shaking things up, parting with their entire coaching staff – save for pitching coach Rick Anderson and manager Ron Gardenhire – in the very first day after the season came to an end.

Bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, third base coach Steve Liddle and first base coach Jerry White were all told that their expiring contracts will not be renewed.[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK] Head trainer Rick McWane also is gone, which comes as no surprise given the iffy handling of injuries over the past couple years. Hitting coach Joe Vavra and bench coach Scott Ullger will be reassigned within the organization.

For a team that has maintained remarkable field staff stability over the past decade, this is an enormous development. It's also warranted, because while I doubt that each departing coach was blatantly incompetent at his job, a change in clubhouse culture and a message that all this losing is not acceptable both were necessary.

Some fans are already voicing frustration that Anderson and Gardenhire were left alone for the time being, given that the pitching staff was clearly the leading issue this year and ultimately the manager should assume responsibility for a team failure as miserable as we've seen.

Yet, there have undeniably been challenging circumstances beyond the control of those two, and I think it's fair to say that they are on thin ice at this point. Gardenhire will almost certainly enter the next season as a "lame duck manager," with only one year left on his contract. The writing is on the wall that if things don't turn around, Gardy and his right-hand man are probably going to follow the rest of the coaching staff out the door.

Personally, I'm OK with giving them both another chance, considering their strong track records prior to 2011. But it's refreshing to see the organization sending a strong message, and I'll be interested to see how the the vacant spots are filled (or the spots that open up in Rochester, assuming that Gene Glynn, Bobby Cuellar and Tom Brunansky are brought up as expected).


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