Twins announce 2020 Minor League staff assignments

January 10th, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Twins announced today that their minor league managerial and coaching positions have been filled for the 2020 season. Of note, all seven affiliates will have two pitching coaches, one of whom is bilingual (English and Spanish), while the top three levels will employ five-person coaching staffs.

Triple-A Rochester Red Wings

Toby Gardenhire makes his Triple-A managerial debut with the Rochester Red Wings, after guiding the Twins’ two Single-A affiliates to a combined 151-121 (.555) mark over the last two seasons. Matt Borgschulte will be the Red Wings’ hitting coach, after serving in the same capacity for Single-A Ft. Myers in 2019 and the GCL Twins in 2018. Mike McCarthy and Cibney Bello will serve as the Red Wings’ pitching coaches. McCarthy has been Rochester’s bullpen coach the past two seasons, while Bello has spent the past four seasons as a pitching coach with Double-A Pensacola (2019), Single-A Cedar Rapids (2018) and the GCL Twins (2016-17); he was also on Minnesota’s major league staff last September and into the ALDS. Robbie Robinson, who managed the GCL (2019) and DSL (2018) Twins the last two years, will join the Red Wings as an additional coach. Rochester’s new trainer is Jason Kirkman, who joins the Twins from the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine and Nemours Children’s Health System, after previously working for the Los Angeles Dodgers (2018) and Philadelphia Phillies (2008-11). Jacob Dean returns for his second season as strength and conditioning coach.

Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Ramon Barrego, who has guided his last three clubs to the postseason, returns as manager at Double-A Pensacola after leading the Blue Wahoos to a 76-63 record and the Southern League semifinals in 2019. Ryan Smith, who made his professional coaching debut in 2019 as the hitting coach for Single-A Cedar Rapids, joins the Blue Wahoos in the same capacity. Luis Ramirez, who enters his 15th season in the Twins organization, comes to Pensacola as pitching coach after serving in the same capacity at Single-A Ft. Myers in 2019. He is joined by pitching coach Nat Ballenberg, who spent part of 2019 with Ft. Myers after a nine-year stint (2011-19) as pitching coach and strength and conditioning coach at his alma mater, Haverford College. Joe Mangiameli jumps to the professional ranks as a Pensacola coach after spending four years in collegiate ball, including 2019 at Quinnipiac University (where he worked primarily with the catchers). Chris McNeely is the new Pensacola trainer, coming to the Twins after four seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Travis Koon returns as the Blue Wahoos’ strength and conditioning coach.

Single-A Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels

Aaron Sutton assumes the reins as the manager for the Single-A Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels, his first professional coaching assignment. Sutton spent the last four years as head coach at Montana State University Billings, earning 2019 GNAC Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Yellowjackets to the league’s regular and postseason titles, and their first-ever berth in the NCAA Division II West Region Championships. The club’s hitting coaches are Nate Rasmussen, who served in the same role for the GCL Twins in 2019, and Brian Meyer, who spent the last three seasons at Butler University after a five-year stint at Tulane University. Virgil Vazquez and Carlos Hernandez are joining Ft. Myers for their sixth and third seasons, respectively, as pitching coaches in the Twins organization. Ben Myers returns for his second season as the Ft. Myers trainer, while Chuck Bradway is back as strength and conditioning coach.

Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels

Brian Dinkelman returns for a second season as manager at Single-A Cedar Rapids after a successful 2019 campaign in which the Kernels finished 78-62, captured the Midwest League Western Division second-half title and won a first-round playoff series before falling in the semifinals. The new Kernels hitting coach is Bryce Berg, who spent the past four seasons as a coach at Concordia University, Nebraska, working with the team’s hitters and catchers. Peter Larson, who was the Twins’ rehab pitching coach last season, becomes the new Cedar Rapids pitching coach. He will join Calvin Maduro, who pitched in the majors for the Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles from 1996-2002, before becoming a coach and scout in the Orioles organization. Luis Rodriguez returns for a second season on the coaching staff, while Tyler Blair begins his second campaign as the club’s trainer. Colin Feikles, the 2019 Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year in the New York-Penn League for his work with the Boston Red Sox’ Lowell affiliate, joins the Twins and Cedar Rapids in the same capacity.

Rookie-level Elizabethton Twins

Ray Smith embarks on his 27th season overall as manager with Rookie-level Elizabethton, his 34th campaign on the E-town staff and his 42nd with the Twins organization. Smith owns a career 1,048-701 (.599) managerial record, with 14 first-place finishes. Jeff Reed is back for his 19th season as Elizabethton’s hitting coach, while Richard Salazar returns for his second season as pitching coach. Jimmy Alvarez joins E-town as a coach, after serving in the same role for the DSL Twins in 2019. Matt Smith is the new Elizabethton trainer, joining the Twins after spending 2019 with Triple-A Pawtucket in the Red Sox organization. Cesar Castillo, the strength and conditioning coach for the GCL Twins last year, joins E-town in the same role.

Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Twins

Takashi Miyoshi, entering his third season with the organization, is the first-year manager for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Twins. Miyoshi, who was a coach with Elizabethton last season, became the first Japanese-born manager in U.S. professional baseball without previous MLB or NPB experience when he logged a three-year stint (2015-17) as skipper for the independent Pacific Association’s Sonoma Stompers. The hitting coaches will be Minnesota native Shawn Schlecter, who joins the organization from North Iowa Area Community College, and Jairo Rodriguez, who mentored the DSL hitters in 2019. Mark Moriarty joins the Twins as pitching coach following a season as the head coach at the University of Mary; prior to that, he helped Augustana University to the 2018 D-II NCAA championship as the associate head coach and pitching coach. Dan Urbina, a pitching coach last year for the DSL Twins, will be with the GCL club in the same role. Tyler Smarslok makes his professional coaching debut with the GCL Twins, joining the organization after a brief stint at Marist University as Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, and assistant coach roles at Kean University, Seaton Hall University, Heidelberg University and Claremont-Mudd-Scrips. Brad McKenney will also serve in a coaching role. Asja Morello returns as trainer, while new strength and conditioning coordinator Garrett Hudson joins the Twins from Andover Academy.

Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Twins

Seth Feldman returns for his second season as manager of the Dominican Summer League Twins. Yeison Perez, a catcher for the GCL Twins in 2018 who transitioned to a coaching role last year, will be one of three DSL hitting coaches. He joins Ricardo Nanita, who retired after 2018 following a 16-year professional playing career, and Steven Rosen, who has spent the past three seasons at the University of Notre Dame (2019 as Director of Baseball Operations) and Georgia State University (2017-18 as a graduate assistant and assistant coach). Kevin Rodriguez returns for a second season as the club’s pitching coach, alongside Jared Gaynor, who owns Gaynor Strength & Pitching and joined the organization in May 2019 from Virginia Commonwealth University. The DSL medical staff all returns, with trainers Carlos Frías and Wladimir Morales, and strength and conditioning coaches Juan Carlos Pinto and Miguel Cabrera.

Player Development Staff and Minor League Coordinators

Alex Hassan enters his third season in the Twins organization, first as director of player development. Drew MacPhail joins the Twins as assistant director of player development after spending the past four seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ front office. Tommy Bergjans, who was drafted by the Dodgers in the eighth round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft and pitched four minor league seasons, is the new coordinator of player development. Longtime major league coach and former big league manager Sam Perlozzo begins his second season as a senior advisor, player development.

Additionally, Kevin Morgan joins the Twins organization as coordinator of instruction after a 25-year stint with the New York Mets. Tucker Frawley, who spent 12 years on the staff at Yale University, is the new assistant field coordinator and coordinator of skill development. Pete Maki will serve his third season as pitching coordinator. J.P. Martinez returns for his third season as assistant pitching coordinator, while Justin Willard, a pitching coach at Double-A Pensacola in 2019, is now an assistant pitching coordinator. Donegal Fergus is the new hitting coordinator following a successful 19-year stint in the college ranks, including 2019 as associate head coach at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a five-year stay (2014-18) at the University of Washington. Michael Thomas is the catching coordinator in his third season with the organization. Billy Boyer will serve as infield coordinator for a second season, and former Rochester manager Mike Quade is back for his third campaign as outfield coordinator. Tyler Schmitz will serve his third season as minor league video coordinator. Zach Bove, a pitching coach for the GCL Twins in 2019, takes on a new role as special projects coordinator.

Chad Jackson enters his 19th season with the Twins as minor league medical coordinator, and David Rak begins his fourth year as minor league strength and conditioning coordinator. Axel Lopez will serve his third season as Latin American medical coordinator. Anders Dzurak joins the Twins as rehab pitching coach after six seasons as a collegiate pitching coach, most recently at Briar Cliff University, and including two seasons in Minnesota at his alma mater St. Olaf College (2016-17) and Macalester College (2014).

Brian Maloney enters his fourth season as senior manager of minor league operations. Matt Cheesman will serve his second season as minor league equipment manager. Victor Gonzalez is back for a third campaign as Florida operations manager. Jason Davilla returns as Florida operations assistant.