There's going to be a big push from the fanbase to go external when it comes to the next manager of the Minnesota Twins. Fans are ready for some new blood in the organization, and considering the results of the last four seasons it's easy to understand why. Still, the Twins are notorious for promoting from within, and we know they'll at least give internal candidates a fair shake at the job.
Here are the three managers already in the organization that I can see sitting at or near the top of the list.
Just like every other coach on the Major League staff, Molitor's contract is up. He's spent years in the organization, however, including two years as a bench coach under Tom Kelly (2000, 2001) following his three years as the Twins' designated hitter (1996 - 1998). He was rumored to be in the mix for the managerial role after Kelly left, but chose to withdraw himself from the opportunity because of the uncertain situation revolving around the potential future (or lack thereof) of the organization in Minnesota.
After serving as Seattle's hitting coach in 2004, Molitor spent time in the Twins organization as a mentor of sorts. He was officially hired as a coach last October, where he said a number of interesting things not just about his role but about his philosophy of the game. Including this:
"The game has changed so much; we're seeing more overshifts and people not afraid to give up space based on tendencies, so it's something I'm excited about learning about and applying to the way we play defense," Molitor said. "They showed me the capabilities of not only pregame information but how we can use whatever data we have, including our in-house cameras at Target Field, to try to line up the defenses based on the pitcher's capability of executing pitches and the hitter's tendency of where they might hit the ball."
We didn't see the Twins shift much in 2014, but if Molitor were to get the job you can be sure we'd see more of it going forward.
Glynn was anointed the head coach of the Rochester Red Wings, the Twins' Triple-A affiliate, prior to the 2012 season. You may remember 2012 as the season that the folks in charge of Rochester weren't particularly fond of how the Twins continued to gut their team - a necessity because of the state of the Major League squad but nevertheless very disruptive to their own team and the Red Wings' fans. Rochester still went 72-72 that season, but it never felt that positive.
In 2013 the team went 77-67, finishing fourth and losing in the first round of the playoffs. The team also went 77-67 this year, in spite of a very strong pitching staff, finishing in fourth place - four and a half games behind Syracuse.
Glynn has had time with a number of players on the Twins roster, not to mention the players who have spent the last season or two in Triple-A. He's known to have good relationships with his players, and has been a consistent presence in Rochester while the player roster has turned over significantly from his first season. Certainly, having managerial experience in his recent past is an advantage he'll have over Molitor.
Dougie Baseball may be a bit of a dark horse on this list. He's a manager, which is a plus, but going from Advanced-A Fort Myers all the way to Minnesota could be a stretch. The Miracle played to a 79-56 record in 2013, Mientkiewicz's first season on the job, and an 82-57 record this season. Both were first place finishes, which isn't much of a surprise considering the immense talent level the Twins organization boasts in the mid-range minor league affiliates.
With just two years under his belt as a manager (Glynn has many more seasons beyond his three in Rochester), it wouldn't just be a big jump from mid-minors to Major Leagues, it would also be a jump in terms of experience. Still - the front office knows who he is, the fan base knows who he is (and loves him), he embodies the "grit and hustle" aspect of Twins Baseball that the front office may not be ready to pull away from, and in his two years as a manager he's been very successful. Mientkiewicz can't be dismissed from the conversation.
Should the Twins go with an internal candidate, would you like to see them go with one of these three or would you like to throw someone else's hat into the ring?