Twins announce 2021 Minor League staff assignments

January 19th, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Twins today announced minor league managerial and coaching assignments for the 2021 season. For the second consecutive year, all six affiliates will have two pitching coaches, one of whom is bilingual (English & Spanish), while the top three levels employ five-person coaching staffs.

Triple-A St. Paul Saints

Toby Gardenhire makes his Triple-A managerial debut with the St. Paul Saints, after guiding the Twins’ two Single-A affiliates to a combined 151-121 (.555) mark from 2018-19. Matt Borgschulte will be the Saints’ 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 Saints’ pitching coaches. McCarthy was the Triple-A bullpen coach from 2018-19, while Bello spent four seasons as a pitching coach with Double-A Pensacola (2019), Single-A Cedar Rapids (2018) and the GCL Twins (2016-17). Tyler Smarslok, who was slated to be a coach for the GCL Twins in 2020, will join the Saints as their infield coach. Jason Kirkman, who came to the Twins organization in 2020 from the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine and Nemours Children’s Health System, will be St. Paul’s trainer. Jacob Dean, who was the Triple-A strength and conditioning coach in 2019, will be back in the same role with the Saints.

Double-A Wichita Wind Surge

Ramon Borrego, who has guided his last three clubs to the postseason, will manage Double-A Wichita after leading the Pensacola 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, will serve in the same role for the Wind Surge this season. Luis Ramirez, who enters his 16th year in the Twins organization, comes to Wichita as a pitching coach after serving in the same capacity at Single-A Ft. Myers in 2019. He is joined in that role by Virgil Vasquez, who pitched in parts of two major league seasons and has been a pitching coach in the Twins system since 2015. Joe Mangiameli will serve as the club’s catching coach; he joined the organization in 2020 after spending four years in collegiate ball, including 2019 at Quinnipiac University (where he worked primarily with the catchers). Chris McNeely, who joined the Twins in 2020 after four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, is Wichita’s trainer. Travis Koon is the strength and conditioning coach, a role he filled at Double-A Pensacola in 2019.

Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels

Brian Dinkelman returns 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 Kernels hitting coach is Bryce Berg; he came to the Twins in 2020 after a four-year stint as coach at Concordia University, Nebraska, where he worked with the team’s hitters and catchers. Mark Moriarty and Richard Salazar will serve as the club’s pitching coaches. ­Moriarty, who was hired by the Twins as the GCL pitching coach prior to 2020, previously served as the head coach for the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. Salazar joins the High-A club after spending 2019 with Rookie Elizabethton. Jairo Rodriguez enters his 14th year in the Twins organization as a minor league player or coach. He was named hitting coach for the GCL Twins prior to 2020 and spent 2017-19 tutoring hitters for the DSL Twins. Tyler Blair begins his second campaign as the club’s trainer, while Colin Feikles, hired by the Twins in 2020 after earning 2019 Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year honors in the New York-Penn League, will serve in that role for the Kernels.

Single-A Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels

Aaron Sutton assumes the reins as the manager for the Single-A Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels. Prior to joining the organization in 2020, Sutton spent the previous 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. Brian Meyer, hired in 2020 after spending three seasons at Butler University (2017-19) and five at Tulane University, will be the club’s hitting coach. The Mighty Mussels’ pitching coaches will be Peter Larson, who was the Twins’ rehab pitching coach in 2019, and Carlos Hernandez, who begins his fourth year in the Twins organization. Trainer Ben Myers and strength and conditioning coach Chuck Bradway both return to the Ft. Myers club.

Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Twins/CenturyLink Sports Complex

Takashi Miyoshi, who is entering his fourth year with the Twins organization, will serve his first season as manager for the Gulf Coast League Twins; he was slated for that position in 2020. Miyoshi, who was a coach with Elizabethton for two years (2018-2019), 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 coach will be Minnesota native Shawn Schlechter, who joined the organization in 2020 from North Iowa Area Community College. Jared Gaynor, who mentored the DSL pitchers in 2019, joins the GCL Twins as pitching coach. Former major league pitcher Calvin Maduro, who was hired in 2020 as the Kernels pitching coach, will transition to pitching coach at this level. Dan Urbina, a pitching coach in 2019 for the DSL Twins, will serve the same role for the GCL club. Yeison Peréz, a catcher for the GCL Twins in 2018 who transitioned to a coaching role for the DSL Twins in 2019, will serve in a coaching role, alongside Brad McKenney, who transitioned to a coaching role in 2020. Anders Dzurak will serve as the rehab pitching coach. Asja Morello and Matt Smith will serve as trainers for the club, Christian Hintz will serve as physical therapist, while Mitchell Ho will be strength and conditioning coach.

Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Twins

Seth Feldman is entering his second season as manager of the Dominican Summer League Twins and third year with the organization. Ricardo Nanita, an outfielder who retired after 2018 following a 16-year professional playing career, will be one of two DSL hitting coaches, alongside Steven Rosen, who was hired by the Twins in 2020 after spending the previous 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 Joey Skracic, who enters his first season as a professional coach after previously serving as the head pitching coach and strength and conditioning coach at San Joaquin Delta College in California. Jimmy Alvarez will also serve in a coaching role. The DSL medical staff will consist of trainers Mario Rivera, Carlos Frias and Wladimir Morales, along with strength and conditioning coaches Juan Carlos Pinto and Miguel Cabrera.

Player Development Staff and Minor League Coordinators

Alex Hassan enters his fourth season in the Twins organization, second as director of player development. Drew MacPhail returns as assistant director of player development. Tommy Bergjans, who served as the club’s coordinator of player development in 2020, has been promoted to assistant director of player development. Mauricio Mena will be the assistant of player development.

Additionally, Kevin Morgan will continue his role as field coordinator; he joined the Twins in 2020 after a 25-year stint with the New York Mets organization. Tucker Frawley returns as assistant field coordinator and coordinator of skill development after 12 years on the staff at Yale University. Donegal Fergus, who joined the Twins prior to the 2020 season after a 19-year stint in the collegiate ranks, returns as hitting coordinator. Micheal Thomas returns as catching coordinator in his fourth year with the organization. Billy Boyer will serve as infield coordinator for a third season, and former Rochester manager Mike Quade is back for his fourth campaign as outfield coordinator. Justin Willard elevates to pitching coordinator after two seasons as the club’s assistant pitching coordinator. Zach Bove moves from special projects coordinator to assistant pitching coordinator, marking his third year in the organization. Nat Ballenberg, who joined the Twins prior to 2020, transitions from Double-A pitching coach to special projects pitching coordinator. Tyler Schmitz, Byron Oliver and Harry Welsh will all serve as minor league video coordinators.

Chad Jackson enters his 20th season with the Twins as minor league medical coordinator. David Rak begins his fifth year as minor league strength and conditioning coordinator. Connor Derrickson will serve as minor league rehab strength and conditioning coach. Jenn Reiner-Marcello will serve as reconditioning specialist. Axel Lopez will serve his fourth season as Latin American medical coordinator.

Brian Maloney enters his fifth season as senior manager of minor league operations. Matt Cheesman will serve his third season as minor league equipment manager. Matt Tramp will serve as Triple-A clubhouse manager. Victor Gonzalez is back for a fourth campaign as Florida operations manager. Jason Davila returns as Florida operations assistant. Linda Merlo will be the club’s supervisor of language and cultural development and Kara Lynch is the minor league dietician.