Twins pitching coach Neil Allen was suspended indefinitely by the team after being arrested early Thursday morning for suspicion of drunken driving.
Minor league pitching coordinator Eric Rasmussen will take over as Twins pitching coach for the time being.
The Twins issued a statement Thursday:
“The Minnesota Twins are aware of the pending DWI charge against pitching coach Neil Allen. Mr. Allen has been suspended, with pay, indefinitely and the matter will be handled in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club.” The statement also said the team will have no further comment.
According to the incident report, Allen was stopped by officers for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office around 2 a.m. Thursday at 6th Street S. and Park Avenue in Minneapolis. Allen refused to take a test after being stopped and was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
He was booked into Hennepin County jail a little before 4 a.m. and released around 10:30 a.m.
Allen frequently has admitted that he struggled with alcohol throughout much of his 11-year major league career pitching for five teams. He said in a 1990 interview with the New York Daily News that in 1989 while with Cleveland, he blew a .285 in a Breathalyzer test administered by a concerned teammate after a night of heavy drinking.
“Someone told me I was one drink from death,” Allen said in the interview. “That was June 19 . That was my last drink.”
In 1989 — his last season in the majors — Allen spent a month at the Valhalla Clinic in Sarasota, Fla. He told the Daily News that he had “lost my dignity and my personal pride in my life” to alcohol. “And it ruined my career,” he said.
Allen joined the Twins as pitching coach before the 2015 season, after Paul Molitor was named manager. Allen told the Star Tribune in the spring of 2015 that he had not had any alcohol since 1994.
Rasmussen, 64, has spent 26 years in the organization, including the past eight as the minor league pitching coordinator, traveling to all the Twins’ affiliates to work with prospects. He interviewed for the pitching coach job last year but Allen beat him out.
Rasmussen has been a pitching coach for Twins minor teams at the rookie level, at Class A Fort Myers and Class AA New Britain. The last time he was a piching coach was at Fort Myers, from 1999 to 2008.
He pitched eight seasons in the majors for St. Louis, Kansas City and San Diego, going 50-77 with a 3.85 ERA.