The minor league affiliates of the Minnesota Twins announced their coaching staffs yesterday morning. There are a few familiar faces throughout the Twins organization again this season, some have moved around, and quite a few new faces will join the farm system.
The Triple-A affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings, announced that Toby Gardenhire, son of former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, is taking over as manager of the team for 2020. He was in the Twins system during all seven years of his professional playing career and lead the Fort Myers Miracle to the playoffs last season and the Cedar Rapids Kernels to a playoff berth in 2018. His staff will consist of Cibne Bellow as pitching coach, Matt Borgschulte as hitting coach, Mike McCarthy (not the Packer/Cowboy guy) returning as the bullpen coach, Robbie Robinson as a coach, athletic trainer Jason Kirkman, and Jacob Dean serving as strength/conditioning coach, also returning from the 2019 staff.
Ramon Borrego will return as manager of the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos. The strength/conditioning coach, Travis Koon, is the only holdover from the 2019 staff. The rest of the staff will be new faces in Pensacola: Ryan Smith will hop over from Cedar Rapids to serve as the hitting coach. The Blue Wahoos will employ two pitching coaches - Luis Ramirez and Nat Ballenberg, both coming over from Fort Myers. Joe Mangiameli will be in his first professional coaching role as a coach, coming from Quinnipiac. Athletic trainer Chris McNeely rounds out the staff.
The High-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (wow, I don’t like saying that) will also have a new face at the helm of the team. Aaron Sutton will take over managing duties, spending the past four season as the head coach of at Montana State University - Billings. He has lead that team to the season’s regular and post-season titles and was named Coach of the Year. He will be with Nate Rasmussen, who will be the hitting coach after serving in the same capacity for the GCL Twins last year; coach Bryan Meyer, another hire from the college ranks; and pitching coaches Virgil Vazquez and Carlos Hernandez, both familiar within the farm system. The training staff will consist of Ben Myers and Chuck Bradway, both of whom were with the then-Miracle.
Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels will have former Twins player and farm-hand Brian Dinkelman return as skipper for the second season in a row. He’ll have Bryce Berg as hitting coach, who comes from coaching experience at Concordia University in Nebraska. Peter Larson will be the pitching coach and previously served as the a rehab pitching coach for the Twins’ minor league teams. Calvin Maduro will also serve as a pitching coach, coming over from the Baltimore Orioles farm system. Luis Rodriguez will also return for a second season as coach. Tyler Blair will return as the athletic trainer and Colin Feikles will be the stength/conditioning coach in his first year with the Kernels.
Rookie League Elizabethton will be lead by Ray Smith in his 27th season as the manager of the team. Jeff Reed will return for his 19th season as hitting coach while Richard Salazar will come back for a second season as pitching coach. The trio will be joined by Jimmy Alvarez, who comes over from the Dominican Summer League Twins.
The Rookie League Gulf Coast League (GCL) Twins are going to be lead by first-time manager Takashi Miyoshi, who has been in the organization for three years. He’ll be joined by pitching coaches Mark Moriarty, who is coming over from the University of Mary and Augustana University, and Dean Urbina, who was with the Dominican League Twins last season; hitting coaches Shawn Schlecter and Jairo Rodriguez; and coaches Tyelr Smarslok and Brad McKenney.
Rookie League Dominican Summer League (DSL) Twins will continue to be lead by Seth Feldman in his second year in the role. He’ll be joined by Ricardo Nanita, Steven Rosen, and Yison Perez as hitting coaches. The pitching coaches will be Keven Rodriguez in his second year and Jared Gaynor.
The Twins have at least one Spanish-speaking pitching coach on each affiliate team this season. Many of the new coaches have also been brought on board from the college ranks, which is a trend from last season with Wes Johnson being added to the major-league staff as pitching coach.