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Twins Hire Jayce Tingler as New Bench Coach


Nick Nelson
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The Minnesota Twins announced on Monday that they've hired former San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler as their new bench coach. He joins fellow newcomer David Popkins, who was also officially announced as the team's hitting coach.

Tingler, who turns 41 later this month, previously served as a coach in the Texas Rangers system. In 2016, when the Twins hired away Thad Levine to become one their general manager, Tingler moved into an assistant GM role with the Rangers. 

He was hired to become manager of the Padres in October of 2019, but lasted only two years on the job. He was fired last month after San Diego came up well short of expectations following an active offseason.

Tingler fills a role on the Twins staff that has been vacant since its previous tenant, Mike Bell, passed away tragically last spring.

The news that David Popkins would be the Twins next hitting coach broke a couple of weeks ago on Twitter. The 31-year-old had been the hitting coach for the Great Lakes Loons, the Dodgers' High-A affiliate. 

While Tingler is a Missouri native who was the San Diego manager, Popkins is a San Diego native who played at UC-Davis before spending three seasons in affiliates ball (Cardinals) and then three seasons in independent baseball). He was going to be the Dodgers' Arizona League hitting coach in 2020, but then the minor league season was cancelled, and he moved up to High-A in 2021. 

Tingler played at the University of Missouri and then was a tenth round pick of the Blue Jays in 2003. He played four seasons in the minors before becoming a coach in the Dominican Summer League, and then he managed the team. He become a Coordinator (of Instruction) in 2011, and then the Rangers minor league Field Coordinator for three seasons. 

We'll have more details about the new hire here shortly. Stay tuned and share your initial thoughts below. 


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So the Twins hire Jayce Tingler to be their bench coach after he was just fired by San Diego for managing a team full of stars to a 79-83 record and a third place finish in his one full season as the Padres skipper.. Why am I not surprised? On the plus side he does speak English and Spanish.

 

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Again, hard to know anything for certain from a fan's perspective, but it seemed San Diego was very displeased over Tingler's inability to inspire his players when they were in a fight for a playoff spot. He's seems soft-spoken, sharp and unsure of himself in a leadership role. I was really hoping the Twins would hire a counterweight character to Baldelli, who appears to have a similar approach to coaching ... and maybe even similar weaknesses.

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Quick review of his Wikipedia page mentions that he was one of three promoted to Assistant GM with the Rangers after Thad Levine left for the Twins in November 2016. He had been with the Rangers organization in various roles since 2007 so there would seem to be a Levine connection with this hire. I’m interested to learn more about him but sure seems like an exciting hire.

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2 hours ago, jjswol said:

So the Twins hire Jayce Tingler to be their bench coach after he was just fired by San Diego for managing a team full of stars to a 79-83 record and a third place finish in his one full season as the Padres skipper.. Why am I not surprised? On the plus side he does speak English and Spanish.

 

So former managers should be excluded from the Bench Coach job? Because it would seem to me that most anyone let go as a manager, probably didn't live up to expectations.

Seems like a great hire to me. The Twins struggled last year despite just about everything being the same as the prior two years. One thing that was different was that the Twins didn't have a bench coach. No idea how, why or if that impacted the team, but hiring another former manager to share some of Baldelli's responsibilities seems like a solid move.

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The bench coach is still something I don't understand but I thought it was a counterweight to the manager. Someone who could get along but still challenge what the manager was thinking or doing. This doesn't seem to fit that profile and his success in San Diego seems to put a big question mark over his abilities as far as our needs are concerned. So maybe he'll be a wonderful addition and we will suddenly see the twins playing a more exciting and new form of baseball, but I doubt it. 

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4 hours ago, LastOnePicked said:

Again, hard to know anything for certain from a fan's perspective, but it seemed San Diego was very displeased over Tingler's inability to inspire his players when they were in a fight for a playoff spot. He's seems soft-spoken, sharp and unsure of himself in a leadership role. I was really hoping the Twins would hire a counterweight character to Baldelli, who appears to have a similar approach to coaching ... and maybe even similar weaknesses.

Yup, there's basically two Roccos in the dugout now, when there should be zero. My disappointment is immeasurable, and my day is ruined. 

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First of all, and mostly....... and will probably be ignored in any response made by any current or former management type fan commenter here that can't always help but align themselves with the organization (ANY organization) because it helps them self validate their lives and all....... one never knows how the changes will go, and all fans, including me, hope that the FO choices are successful (unlike just about every decision they made in the off season of 2020....).

Wow. Every indication and SoCal gossip was that Tingler totally lost control of a clubhouse  full of pretty damn good baseball players that the FO had given him, and they totally tanked in the second half of the season. Our guys have to know the history. This hire kinda blows me away. But I have no idea what happened to that team, and in the clubhouse. But I can't say, as a fan that pays attention to more than just Twins baseball, that I am any where close to a homer cheerleader about this hire.

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14 minutes ago, KFEY93 said:

My disappointment is immeasurable, and my day is ruined. 

I'm disappointed too, but don't let it ruin today. Just put that feeling on hold if/when the team seems poorly coached in April-May.

I mean, I try to be generally fair. Tingler paid his dues and impressed people along the way. Even up until June he was well-respected in San Diego. I'm pulling for redemption, and some fire in him to prove he's worth an MLB coaching or managerial spot. He wouldn't have been my pick, but I'm at least happy to hear that he was known for an emphasis on baseball fundamentals.

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I've closely followed the Padres the last few years so I have a well-formed opinion on Tingler. Not a surprising hire as Tingler is a hyper-analytics guy; particularly from the pitching side he's an inveterate over-manager. Starter giving you four innings is more than acceptable, and having 9 pitchers pitch in a 9 inning game isn't abnormal. And this was with the Padres going out and getting veterans like Snell and Darvish over the offseason. I grew to really hate him over his Padres tenure, though the hate for Tingler was at a mild simmer compared to the rolling boil of hatred I have for Baldelli. And the dugout episode in St. Louis where Machado upbraided Tatis was particularly illustrative of the fact that he had lost the clubhouse. 

Not that bench coaches matter much (though there are plenty of fans who seem to think Derek Shelton was a major reason for the 2019 success), but I'm not inspired by this move. He's just an older, beardier Baldelli.  

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5 hours ago, jjswol said:

So the Twins hire Jayce Tingler to be their bench coach after he was just fired by San Diego for managing a team full of stars to a 79-83 record and a third place finish in his one full season as the Padres skipper.. Why am I not surprised? On the plus side he does speak English and Spanish.

 

Yeah, they should have hired Brian Snitker. The Braves just won the World Series and he’s their manager. 

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2 hours ago, terrydactyls said:

The score so far is:

In Favor:  5

Against:  3

I wonder what Vegas has for the odds?

I m indifferent. I always thought if a bench coach as someone who is a utility player type of coach.  Can pitch in a lot of roles and is also there to help strategize. This type of coach can have a different type of personality but isnt necessarily required.  I think other coaches can be that too.

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Smart move to hire someone older and more experienced to sit with Rocco on the bench.  Jayce's extra [checks baseball-reference.com] 301 days on planet Earth will no doubt make a big difference. :)

Does anyone know the proper pronunciation of the new guy's name?  One syllable, with a long-A?  Or "Jay-Cee"?

 

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1 hour ago, ashbury said:

Smart move to hire someone older and more experienced to sit with Rocco on the bench.  Jayce's extra [checks baseball-reference.com] 301 days on planet Earth will no doubt make a big difference. :)

Does anyone know the proper pronunciation of the new guy's name?  One syllable, with a long-A?  Or "Jay-Cee"?

 

Let's just call him "The French Tingler!" :)

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I have enough of an opinion to just be dangerous, LOL. 

But seriously, different people have different interpretations as to what a bench coach should be. Some feel it should be an older guy who's been around for a while, probably managed for a while, may have more gray in his hair etc. Think a Gardenhire type, for example.

You also have the Shelton type, who was generally applauded for his work and experience, but who's work was not as  ML manager, but as a coach and long term milb manager who still brought experience.

The late Mike Bell was the most recent selection for the Twins because he had experience at the ML and milb level as well as working with the FO in different areas. He was young, experienced in different areas, and seemed progressive in his approach. Also young enough to embrace new age analytics.

Tingler is basically a clone of Bell in many ways, except for actually being a ML manager. He has experience in and across different variations of  milb, the DSL, the FO, speaks Spanish, and before the Padres season went to dirt in 2021, lead SD to a quality season in 2020. I don't know Tingler from a random name in a phonebook, but I'm smart enough to see a familiarity with the FO, a history of experience that is BROAD, and from THAT, he seems like a good hire. A disappointing 2021 with the Padres, IMO, shouldn't be a disappointing disqualifier as to his ability as a bench coach. Much like a player needing a change of scenery, I won't, at this point, believe he is unqualified or bad as a choice because of a disappointing 2021 with another team vs the rest of his resume.

We'll see what happens. But his overall resume seems pretty varied and solid.

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55 minutes ago, Old Twins Cap said:

Whatever, the Internet has no lack of opinions, some well-informed, some not.

Failure is often just the thing that allows a person insight into what not to do.

I would start with:  Don't do what the Twins have done the last couple of decades.

Best to you Tingly.

Now that's funny.

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6 hours ago, Old Twins Cap said:

Whatever, the Internet has no lack of opinions, some well-informed, some not.

Failure is often just the thing that allows a person insight into what not to do.

I would start with:  Don't do what the Twins have done the last couple of decades.

Best to you Tingly.

Unfortunately insight in what not to do may be as not as much value as situations are different each and every time.

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A bench coach is much needed, especially for young manager like Baldelli and Tingler is welcomed by me. Last year is an good example of what it's like of not having an established bench coach beside Baldelli. Baldelli needs that counter weight to keep him from making bonehead mistakes like staying with Cave all these years but maybe some of those bonehead decision comes from upstairs. Yet a bench coach frees up the manager from menial activity so he can focus on the game and sometimes reveal blind spots in a managers perspective. 

Welcome bench coach Tingler, I wish you well

 

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17 hours ago, h2oface said:

First of all, and mostly....... and will probably be ignored in any response made by any current or former management type fan commenter here that can't always help but align themselves with the organization (ANY organization) because it helps them self validate their lives and all....... one never knows how the changes will go, and all fans, including me, hope that the FO choices are successful (unlike just about every decision they made in the off season of 2020....).

Wow. Every indication and SoCal gossip was that Tingler totally lost control of a clubhouse  full of pretty damn good baseball players that the FO had given him, and they totally tanked in the second half of the season. Our guys have to know the history. This hire kinda blows me away. But I have no idea what happened to that team, and in the clubhouse. But I can't say, as a fan that pays attention to more than just Twins baseball, that I am any where close to a homer cheerleader about this hire.

I can only imagine that managing a bunch of "stars" would be extremely tough, probably harder than a few stars and the rest role players. I don't know anything about Tingler or about the situation in San Diego, but somebody with managerial experience to take some of the load off Rocco should be seen as a plus. I was told by a very wise man a long time ago if you don't make mistakes you can't learn. I choose to hope that's the case here for the entire team from the front office down to the bat boys. 

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18 hours ago, LastOnePicked said:

I'm disappointed too, but don't let it ruin today. Just put that feeling on hold if/when the team seems poorly coached in April-May.

I mean, I try to be generally fair. Tingler paid his dues and impressed people along the way. Even up until June he was well-respected in San Diego. I'm pulling for redemption, and some fire in him to prove he's worth an MLB coaching or managerial spot. He wouldn't have been my pick, but I'm at least happy to hear that he was known for an emphasis on baseball fundamentals.

GIF by SkySlope

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