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Brunansky, Davis Will Not Return To Twins Coaching Staff

The Minnesota Twins announced tonight that hitting coach Tom Brunansky and first base coach Butch Davis will not be offered contracts to return to the staff in 2017.

The remainder of the 2016 Twins coaching staff were offered contracts to return.

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine were quickly at work in determining the futures for the coaching staff who have been in limbo since the season's end.
Image courtesy of Kim Klement, USA Today
Tom Brunansky came back to the Twins organization in 2010 and coached in the GCL, AA and AAA before being named the Twins hitting coach before the 2013 season. Brian Dozier often gave Brunansky a ton of credit for his successes. They worked together in the minors, both the AA and AAA levels.

Reports indicate that Rudy Hernandez will not be promoted to the hitting coach. He was named the Twins assistant hitting coach two seasons ago.

One name to watch is Chad Allen. He has been back in the organization the last couple of years. He has had success with several of the young Twins players the last couple of years. Kennys Vargas, Miguel Sano, Max Kepler and Byron Buxton have all thrived under his leadership. It is, of course, also possible that the new regime will go outside the organization.

Butch Davis came to the Twins organization from the Orioles system when Paul Molitor was named manager. He also worked with the outfielders.

Besides Hernandez, those remaining on the coaching staff are pitching coach Neil Allen, third base coach Gene Glynn, bullpen coach Eddie Guardado and bench coach Joe Vavra,

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42 Comments

How the hell do you not change the pitching coaches? 

    • USAFChief, Thrylos, darin617 and 15 others like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Nov 08 2016 08:59 PM

 

How the hell do you not change the pitching coaches? 

I find Falvey/Levine's approach... Interesting, to say the least. They're not overhauling the organization right off the bat.

 

I expected that, to a point... But keeping the entire front office and most of the coaching staff is a surprise. I expected them to discard at least pieces (and possibly a majority) of each almost immediately.

 

It makes me wonder if that's their Year Two plan. Tackle the big, hard issues first (drafting, development, analytics) through expansion and then worry about the other stuff when you feel comfortable with the changes you have in place.

    • Yoke, HitInAPinch, Platoon and 2 others like this
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Halsey Hall
Nov 08 2016 09:10 PM

I'm not surprised to see Bruno and Davis go.It'll be interesting to see if they go out of the org or bring up Chad Allen.Keeping Glynn, Vavra and Eddie doesn't surprise me and I'd go either way with Neil Allen.Nice to see things happening right from the get go.

    • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this

How the hell do you not change the pitching coaches?


Concur.
    • Thrylos, Platoon, IndyTwinsFan and 3 others like this

What is "names manager"? 

 

Pitching coach? Maybe there is a limit on the number of changes allowed?

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Hosken Bombo Disco
Nov 08 2016 10:01 PM

No ill will towards Bruno, but I think this will go a long way towards relaxing the younger guys coming up. I would hear Bruno barking at Buxton between pitches of his at bat and think to myself: please stop.

    • operation mindcrime likes this
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TheLeviathan
Nov 08 2016 10:03 PM

I'm also shocked Neil Allen is staying.

    • d-mac likes this

Falvey/Levine are analytical and scouting types... Allen and Vavra are guys that are into the analytics... it "may" make more sense than we initially think.

    • HitInAPinch likes this

Allen was also well respected as a pitching coach in Durham.  He is probably known to both Falvey and Levine.  He also wrote some internal paper about the Rays way of fastball control being taught at the lower levels, which the Twins are not doing.  

This may be a total change in philosophy for the Twins

    • brvama likes this

I would guess the new bosses did not like the outfield play. There goes Davis.I would guess they do not like undisciplinedhitting. There goes Bruno and watch the trades for who else goes.

    • operation mindcrime likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 09 2016 06:33 AM

 

I find Falvey/Levine's approach... Interesting, to say the least. They're not overhauling the organization right off the bat.

 

I expected that, to a point... But keeping the entire front office and most of the coaching staff is a surprise. I expected them to discard at least pieces (and possibly a majority) of each almost immediately.

 

It makes me wonder if that's their Year Two plan. Tackle the big, hard issues first (drafting, development, analytics) through expansion and then worry about the other stuff when you feel comfortable with the changes you have in place.

Organizationally speaking, that's how it's often done.Not sure how many people have been through acquisitions and mergers, but rarely do heads roll right off the bat.

 

Falvey and Levine will add some positions, and make sure they are filled with qualified people that they trust.Over the next year, some people will quit or be fired.  Some contracts will likely not be renewed next year... The good ones will stay.. or at least, that's what I hope.

    • brvama and HitInAPinch like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 09 2016 06:35 AM

 

Allen was also well respected as a pitching coach in Durham.  He is probably known to both Falvey and Levine.  He also wrote some internal paper about the Rays way of fastball control being taught at the lower levels, which the Twins are not doing.  

This may be a total change in philosophy for the Twins

 

I know when he came on, there was a shift in emphasis on strike outs... perhaps there other things he wanted but didn't get.I'm fine letting him stick around for another year.It's not like Ryan and company did him any favors either.

    • HitInAPinch likes this

I would guess the new bosses did not like the outfield play. There goes Davis.I would guess they do not like undisciplinedhitting. There goes Bruno and watch the trades for who else goes.


The new bosses liked the pitching?
    • DAM DC Twins Fans, Kwak and d-mac like this

 

The new bosses liked the pitching?

You can only work with what you have.  Twins did not have much in the pitching department. Will be interesting to see if the change in philosophy will have some pitchers here do more time in the minor leagues learning the new way(fastball control).  This may slow the Twins young pitching talent by about a year for most of them.

    • IndyTwinsFan likes this
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Deduno Abides
Nov 09 2016 07:14 AM

How the hell do you not change the pitching coaches?


At the end of the season, Allen said, essentially, "This is what we're doing wrong and this is what we should do instead." There probably isn't anyone available that would be much more interesting than Allen was when he was hired and changing just to try someone else is a risky strategy, as is making too many changes at once. Falvey and Levine want to give people a chance and probably felt Allen is still as capable as people thought two years ago and demonstrated the right attitude to learn from last year. Therefore, he gets a chance while they focus on other areas that seem more in need of immediate change.
    • Seth Stohs, nicksaviking, brvama and 1 other like this
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HitInAPinch
Nov 09 2016 08:19 AM

 

Organizationally speaking, that's how it's often done.Not sure how many people have been through acquisitions and mergers, but rarely do heads roll right off the bat.

 

Falvey and Levine will add some positions, and make sure they are filled with qualified people that they trust.Over the next year, some people will quit or be fired.  Some contracts will likely not be renewed next year... The good ones will stay.. or at least, that's what I hope.

Agree.I believe the phrase is "knee-jerk reaction".

 

I just don't see Falvey and Levine as being those type of people.Something needed to be changed throughout the organization, as far as MiLB training goes.There may still be more changes.But with Falvey's background in Cleveland, I bet any pitching coach/philosophy change may be a little later.

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HitInAPinch
Nov 09 2016 08:27 AM

 

 

I find Falvey/Levine's approach... Interesting, to say the least. They're not overhauling the organization right off the bat.

 

I expected that, to a point... But keeping the entire front office and most of the coaching staff is a surprise. I expected them to discard at least pieces (and possibly a majority) of each almost immediately.

 

It makes me wonder if that's their Year Two plan. Tackle the big, hard issues first (drafting, development, analytics) through expansion and then worry about the other stuff when you feel comfortable with the changes you have in place.

No question with these 2 guys.It's a 2 year plan.Bruno and Davis, IMHO, were kinda'low hanging fruit'.Hitting and defense were problematic.No pitching staff can be successful with that.So, out with Bruno and Davis. 

 

I see pitching, especially with Flavey's background, really getting a workover in year 2. Need to gather those stats before making changes.

Echoing other thoughts here. Seems these were probably necessary changes. Just not sure about Allen. But I didn't expect pink slips passed all the way around right off the bat.

If you're the new marshal and sheriff in town, you probably don't come in and get rid of all of the deputies in one shot.
    • HitInAPinch likes this
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HitInAPinch
Nov 09 2016 09:11 AM

******   Conspiracy Theory Alert  ******

 

The reason for the firing Brunansky is that new Twins management has struck a deal with JOE MAUER to be the new Twins Hitting Coach!!

 

:th_alc:

 

    • puckstopper1 likes this

 

Allen was also well respected as a pitching coach in Durham.  He is probably known to both Falvey and Levine.  He also wrote some internal paper about the Rays way of fastball control being taught at the lower levels, which the Twins are not doing.  

This may be a total change in philosophy for the Twins

 

The Twins aren't teaching fastball control in the lower levels? My assumption is that there isn't an organization in baseball where that wouldn't be taught.

    • adorduan, HitInAPinch and SF Twins Fan like this

In their press conference on Monday, Falvey and Levine talked about the communication between them and Molitor and others. 

 

My guess, and that's all it is... is that the new regime is willing to give most people a year to determine their future. These decisions would seem to be almost fully made by Paul Molitor with some input from the big two based on their discussions and information they have.

    • HitInAPinch likes this

Molitor being involved in personnel decisions, given his love for DanSan, makes me nervous, frankly.

    • ChiTownTwinsFan, gunnarthor, DAM DC Twins Fans and 4 others like this

 

Molitor being involved in personnel decisions, given his love for DanSan, makes me nervous, frankly.

Hey, that's your leadoff CFer your talking about there.

    • Mike Sixel, KirbyDome89 and belker like this

Aren't pitching coaches and managers usually joined at the hip? Molitor and Allen might both go at the same time.

 

Regarding front office hires, the new boss thinks there are too FEW people working in that area. It makes sense to keep the experienced people you have and add to the organization rather than getting rid of decent employees and starting over completely.

    • Mike Sixel and HitInAPinch like this
Teflon Joe Vavra dodged another bullet.

Not sure what it is he does so well, but why isn't he a manager somewhere by now?

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