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Twins announce reconfigured coaching staff

Oct 22, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

Ron Gardenhire

Three weeks ago the Twins fired or reassigned all but one member of Ron Gardenhire’s coaching staff, which was a huge change for an organization that had fired a grand total of one coach during the previous decade.

Today the Twins announced the new coaching staff and it includes two of the “reassigned” coaches simply switching jobs.

First, the new guys: Tom Brunansky is the new hitting coach, Bobby Cuellar is the new bullpen coach, and Terry Steinbach is the new bench/catching coach. Brunansky and Cuellar were the hitting and pitching coaches at Triple-A and Steinbach is a native Minnesotan who finished his career with the Twins.

And now the reassigned guys: Joe Vavra, who was the hitting coach, is now the third base coach. Scott Ullger, who was the bench coach, is now the first base coach. Prior to being moved to bench coach Ullger previously had stints as the Twins’ hitting coach and third base coach, so he’s basically filled every possible role at this point.

It’s not often you see a hitting coach and a bench coach demoted to base coaches, but it fits with the Twins’ overall reluctance to make sweeping changes. Even when they shake things up they still can’t quite say goodbye to longtime staffers and in the end first base coach Jerry White, third base coach Steve Liddle, and bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek are the only members of the 2012 staff who won’t be on the 2013 staff.

  1. byjiminy - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    “in the end first base coach Jerry White, third base coach Steve Liddle, and bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek are the only members of the 2012 staff who won’t be on the 2013 staff.”

    Kinda ironic, since the bullpen is the only part of the team that greatly exceeded expectations, and I’ve never heard a last-place record in the AL explained by poor coaching at first and third.

    Whereas Vavra and Ullger have repeatedly had head-scratching results for years, but for whatever reason, they seem to have been designated potential future managers years ago, and whatever they do in the interim is just part of their education.

  2. jsally430 - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    this why the pohlads suck as owners bring the gm out of retirement that hired gardenhire. he’s still going to think garfys the man for the job. get ready Minnesota were all going to get f#@! after building.them a stadium. they’re going to drop payroll to about 60-70 million and we’ll be stuck with a Joe mauer that doesn’t have a position. because he refuses to play anything but catcher.

    • AK47 - Oct 22, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      Bitter, party of 1.

    • twodub - Oct 22, 2012 at 6:01 PM

      Mauer started around 20% of his games at 1st base this past season, and he’s a great asset behind the plate, so it’s not horrible to still use him there.

  3. mplsjoe - Oct 22, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    So there’s a place for the AAA hitting coach and the AAA pitching coach, but no place for AAA manager Gene Glynn? Or did Glynn choose to stay as manager of the AAA Rochester Red Wings, either becuase he thought being a AAA manager looked better on a resume than being a big-league coach, or because he sees the writing on the wall for even more changes if next season doesn’t go well?

    I’m confused by the addition of Terry Steinbach. As far as I know, he’s never coached at any level. Being a “native Minnesotan” is not a job qualification. Except, of course, in Minnesota, where being one of us counts for everything.

  4. bambam4 - Oct 22, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    and it will be another year of sucking the big red one for the Twins and their fans.

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