When the Twins promoted 2016 Ft. Myers Miracle manager Jeff Smith to the big leagues last month, they left open who would be the new manager for the High-A team. Well, now we know who that new (old?) manager will be: Doug Mientkiewicz.
As for Doug’s managerial role in Chattanooga? That’ll be filled by 2016 Cedar Rapids Kernels manager, Jake Mauer.
The shakeup might seem a little weird from the outside, but I assure you this is business as usual. As you may remember, Jake Mauer managed the high-A Ft. Myers Miracle before he moved to low-A Cedar Rapids Kernels—the point of the move being to allow south Florida native Doug Mientkiewicz be closer to his family in Florida, and Jake closed to his family in Minnesota. Being close to family again appears to be the impetus for Doug moving back to Florida again, while Mauer appears to just be moving up the ladder with some of the prospects he originally helped manager.
All of this, of course, started with Jeff Smith’s promotion last month. Mike Quade, who has been managing the triple-A Rochester Red Wings for the past two years, will remain in Rochester. As for the Kernels? Old friend Tommy Watkins will take over as manager there.
Is this a step backwards for Dougie Baseball, who was runner-up for the big league managing job behind Paul Molitor in 2014? I wouldn’t say so, just as I wouldn’t have said it was a step back for Mauer moving from managing high-A to managing low-A in 2013. I mean, heck—Mauer took over managing the Miracle in 2013 when previous manager Jeff Smith was promoted to the double-A New Britain Rock Cats. Obviously, along the way, Jeff Smith moved back down to Florida, and later (as in next season), up to the big leagues. If anything, I’m ecstatic that Mientkiewicz is happy to remain in the Twins’ system and wait for his special day in the major league sun.
The fun, non-linear world of minor league managing, y’all.