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Longtime Twins coach Vavra departs

Joe Vavra had been with the Twins since 2002, and he served as bench coach since '15. (AP) (Tom Olmscheid/AP)
October 31, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- After hiring Garvin Alston as pitching coach to replace the dismissed Neil Allen, the Twins figured their 2018 coaching staff was set. But they're now looking for a bench coach after longtime coach Joe Vavra was hired by Tigers manager -- and former Twins skipper -- Ron Gardenhire.Vavra,

MINNEAPOLIS -- After hiring Garvin Alston as pitching coach to replace the dismissed Neil Allen, the Twins figured their 2018 coaching staff was set. But they're now looking for a bench coach after longtime coach Joe Vavra was hired by Tigers manager -- and former Twins skipper -- Ron Gardenhire.
Vavra, who had served as a coach for the Twins in a variety of roles since 2002, will be a quality control coach for the Tigers under Gardenhire, according to the Detroit Free Press. It's a similar role to the one performed by Twins coach Jeff Pickler, who also coaches Minnesota's outfielders.
Vavra, 57, had been serving as bench coach under manager Paul Molitor since 2015. He was also the club's hitting coach from 2006-12 before moving over to third-base coach in '13.
Vavra is the only Twins coach expected to be brought over to Detroit by Gardenhire, who served as Twins manager from 2002-14. Gardenhire was hired by the Tigers on Oct. 20. He's still working on hiring his staff, and former Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson is reportedly expected to be Detroit's bullpen coach.
The Twins will look both internally and externally for a bench coach.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.