The Minnesota Twins took the first step to improving their pitching staff on Thursday, as the club announced they’ve hired Garvin Alston as the new pitching coach on the big-league staff.
Alston is the 16th pitching coach in Twins history, and fourth since 1985 according to a team release.
Alston finished 2017 as the bullpen coach for the Oakland A’s, and began the season as a pitching rehab coordinator for the San Diego Padres. He’s spent 13 years coaching in some capacity in professional baseball with the following stops under his belt:
- Kane County (Oakland A-ball) pitching coach (2005-06)
- Stockton (Oakland High-A ball) pitching coach (2007-08)
- A’s minor-league rehab pitching coordinator (2009-14)
- A’s minor-league pitching coordinator (2015)
- Diamondbacks bullpen coach (2016)
Alston pitched briefly for the Colorado Rockies in 1996, and was their 10th-round selection in the 1992 MLB draft — one pick behind the Twins’ selection (outfielder Ben Jones). Alston pitched in the Rockies organization from 1992-98 — he did miss the entire 1997 season — and then spent the next two seasons in the Dodgers and Royals organizations before finishing in 2003 with the independent Montreal Royales of the now defunct Canadian Baseball League. Alston was one of just a handful of players with MLB experience in the league, along with Francisco Cabrera, Rich Butler, Pascual Matos, Angelo Encarnacion, Shad Williams, Floyd Youmans, Rafael Medina and Steve Sinclair.
In his time coaching, he oversaw the minor-league development of pitchers like future AL Rookie of the Year Andrew Bailey (Stockton, 2007) and other top prospects such as Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill.
Alston’s son Garvin Jr. is a pitcher at Arizona State, and lists former Twin Quinton McCracken as a relative. He was also drafted in the 37th round of the 2015 MLB draft by the Chicago White Sox.
The younger Alston lists his father as a big reason why he gravitated to the game. “He groomed me to be a baseball player, but he didn’t push me to it,” Junior said. “One day we sat down, and he asked me how serious I was about the game. I said ‘really serious.'”
In addition to the Alston news, Gold Glove finalists were announced by Rawlings Sports on Thursday afternoon, with a couple familiar faces getting the nod — second baseman Brian Dozier and outfielder Byron Buxton.
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