Paul Molitor is the new manager of the Twins, but another way for a struggling franchise to show it is embracing change is how the coaching staff is assembled.
Now that Molitor is officially in place, the Twins will look for a staff that can help reverse the culture of losing that has taken root in recent seasons.
"I can't tell you how many overlaps [from the previous staff] there are going to be and how everything is going to land," Molitor said Tuesday. "My biggest concern is that I want to make sure I have all the things covered that I need to have."
The process began in earnest Tuesday afternoon, when Molitor and General Manager Terry Ryan met to go over candidates.
One Twins official said Ryan had a list of about 20 potential pitching coaches and about 30 potential bench coaches that was being whittled.
"Since we began this process, every time I had a thought or someone would come to me [with a name], I would write it down," Ryan said. "Some of them were more realistic than others. We have a lengthy list of names, but now we will move forward and see whether or not they will fit."
There are all kinds of possibilities for coaching positions. Does Molitor's buddy and former Brewers teammate, Robin Yount, want to return to coaching? Would someone such as former Toronto manager Cito Gaston or recently fired Cubs manager Rick Renteria be the right fit as a bench coach? Is it time to promote Class AAA Rochester manager Gene Glynn, who knocked it out of the park during his managerial interview and was a finalist along with Molitor and Torey Lovullo?
"We've got some people within the organization that we'd like to talk to and we have people outside the organization that we will address," Ryan said. "And we'll hire seven people here that fit and have the same type of philosophy and teaching ability we need."
Interviewing candidates from within the organization could make Twins fans who want sweeping changes cringe. But there's a chance that someone from last year's staff — hitting coach Tom Brunansky, bench coach Terry Steinbach, third base coach Joe Vavra, first base coach Scott Ullger and bullpen coach Bobby Cuellar — could wind up on Molitor's staff. Only pitching coach Rick Anderson has said he's not coming back next season.
"There's probably a lot of people who probably want us to get rid of everybody, don't bring up any minor league people," Molitor said. "Go out and get new people, new faces, new voices. As Terry [Ryan] alluded to, we're considering people outside. We'd be foolish not to consider people inside. There's some really good people here."
The pitching coach will be a key hire, since Molitor never has handled a pitching staff.
"Having someone with experience is really important to me," Molitor said. "I couldn't sit here and map out getting a 12-man staff ready for the season when you don't know who those 12 are going to be, mixing and matching your innings and all that stuff. So I'm going to need help with that. I will certainly rely very heavily on my pitching coach. It's going to be one of the more important roles that I fill."
Twins President Dave St. Peter said some of the candidates for bench coach are former managers, and Molitor would like to have that type of experience by his side.
"I would like that a lot," Molitor said. "It kind of depends on how all the pieces fit."
Ryan and Molitor stressed that they will make the final choices together. Those decisions could lead to a shake-up throughout the organization, if they promote Glynn or others from the minor leagues.
"I'm not going to do anything unilaterally," Ryan said. "It will be a combination of me and Paul and some of the people in our baseball department. We want to make sure we have a good mix. He's going to have a tremendous amount of input on who will coach."