Monday, September 23, 2013

Examining Twins Managerial Candidates

There is less than a week left in the regular season and the Twins don't have a manager under contract for 2014. With Minnesota on their way to a third straight 90-loss, there are questions about whether Ron Gardenhire deserves another opportunity at the helm. He won 2010's AL Manager of the Year but things have been ugly since that season.

Since Tom Kelly was hired in 1987, the Twins have employed two managers so change has been far from commonplace. Terry Ryan cleared out most of Gardenhire's coaching staff last season in an attempt to bring in some new voices to the clubhouse. Even with the coaching changes, there wasn't much improvement on the field.

Gardenhire might not be out the door but the team doesn't have to bring him back. The Twins will have to make a managerial decision and they are reasons for and against each candidate.

Ron Gardenhire
Reasons For: He's a very well respected manager and he's been with the organization in some capacity through multiple decades. The Twins front office hasn't given him much in the starting pitching department. He knows the Twins way of doing things and the Pohlads have avoided managerial changes during their ownership.

Reason Against: It's been a rough couple of seasons and it might be time for a new voice. Most of the veteran players on the roster have left for green pastures and this could mean a youth movement. It could help to bring in a different manager that has worked more recently with a younger core of players in the minor leagues. Fans have called for a change and it could be time.

Paul Molitor
Reasons For: The Twins like to stick with organizational guys and Molitor has held a few different jobs within the organization. He worked as the bench coach under Kelly and more recently he has served as a roving minor league instructor. His experience with some of the younger players could play to his advantage.

Reasons Against: Molitor doesn't have any managerial experience and this could be one of the biggest strikes against him. There have probably been chances for him to enter the managerial ranks in the Twins farm system but the schedule of a minor league instructor fit his needs. The experience of the other men could make it tough to pick Molitor as the man for Minnesota.

Jake Mauer
Reasons For: The elder Mauer has built up a strong reputation during his time as a manager in the Twins minor league system. In his first year with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, he guided the team to what might have been the best minor league regular season in 2013. There were plenty of changes to the roster and the team kept winning games. He knows how to work with a young roster and to get the best out of up-and-coming players.

Reasons Against: He lacks any experience at the big league level as a player or a coach. This could mean a tough adjustment as he looks to figure out life as a major league manager. His younger brother is also the best player on the team and that could lead to an interesting family dynamic. He has done some good things in the minor leagues but it might not be enough to earn him the job.

Gene Glynn
Reasons For: The Rochester Red Wings rallied under Glynn this season and earned a Wild Card playoff spot on the season's final day. Multiple coaches from his staff were brought up to Minnesota this season and this could make for an easy transition. He also has spent multiple years in different coaching roles at the big league level to give him the experience he would need.

Reasons Against: He isn't exactly a flashy name and many Twins fans might not have ever heard of him. At 57-years old, he isn't exactly a spring chicken. In fact, he is two years older than Gardenhire. If the Twins want to find someone to work a young roster, Glenn might not fit the bill, as most of Rochester 2013 line-up was older minor league veterans. Experience is great but he might not be the best choice for the long-term.

1 comment:

JimCrikket said...

Despite the general wailing and gnashing of teeth it will cause, Gardy will be getting a new 2-year contract, but Jake Mauer will be added to the Major League coaching staff, probably as a base coach, and will be the odds-on favorite to be the next Twins manager.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Molitor managing a Twins affiliate next year.

The combination will make for an interesting dynamic to watch as the Twins likely go through another tough year in 2014. Gardy could be Dead Man Walking by mid summer, with the Twins being willing to eat a year of his pay to replace him if the team tanks again.

There's absolutely no way Terry Ryan goes outside the Twins organization for his next manager. Simply can't see that happening.

Also can't see him replacing Gardy with someone even older, to lead a youthful rebuild. That leaves Glynn out.

Dougie is, as I recall, in Florida because that's where he wants to be due to family issues. Unless those have been resolved, I don't see him being anywhere but with the Miracle in 2014. Of course, by 2015 or 2016, if Gardy survives that long, he could be a consideration if he keeps the number of meltdowns in check and the family issues aren't still a factor.