While the Twins handed out a three-year contract extension to Paul Moltior, they didn’t do the same for his pitching coach, Neil Allen. According to a report today from the Star Tribune, Allen was told the news today while at his home in Sarasota, Florida.
It’s not the biggest surprise in the world. Allen was hired under the old Terry Ryan regime along with Paul Molitor back in the 2014-2015 off season. There was some speculation as to whether the new front office would re-sign Molitor this off season, let alone Allen, in favor of their own people. Considering how the Twins’ pitchers have struggled (although I don’t really think that was Allen’s fault—you can only polish a turd so much), it’s less surprising the front office wants a new pitching coach than that they brought back Molitor. Duh.
Allen also had to distance himself from the team last year after his very unfortunate DWI arrest. Allen has long battled alcoholism, a problem the Mets and MLB tried to tell him didn’t exist in the 1980s when he went out of his way to ask for help.
Other than the DWI, I never heard anything particularly bad about Allen. He seemed like a pretty emotional guy, even crying after Bartolo Colon pitched a complete game shutout earlier this year. “I’ve got a couple guys on my pitching staff that I’m praying to God they watch how [Bartolo] attacks the zone and what he does,” Allen told the Pioneer Press back in August.
Allen helped make marked improvements with young pitchers this year, including Jose Berrios, Trevor Hildenberger, and others. People also noted how much he helped the pitching staff improve in the beginning of 2015. I don’t think Allen was terrible, but the new front office wanted to go in a new direction. That’s okay. That’s their job.
Hopefully Allen lands on his feet somewhere.