With the Twins coming off a 101-victory season, it was expected that members of their coaching staff would become candidates for positions elsewhere. And that is happening.
Bench coach Derek Shelton will interview for managerial openings with the Mets and Pirates this week, according to sources with knowledge of their interest. Eight major league teams are seeking new managers.
Shelton interviewed to be Twins manager last season after Paul Molitor was fired and also interviewed for the Rangers job that went to Chris Woodward. Shelton then agreed to return for a second season as bench coach, his relationship with Rocco Baldelli being a big reason.
Hitting coach James Rowson and assistant pitching coach Jeremy Hefner also could draw interest. It is not known if they have been approached by clubs.
The Twins, meanwhile, have begun making moves with other staff members.
Head trainer Tony Leo — who has been with the organization for 23 seasons, the past two in his current role — has been let go. The Twins will be looking for their third head trainer in the past four seasons.
The Twins also let go Class AAA Rochester manager Joel Skinner, pitching coach Stu Cliburn and hitting coach Javier Valentin. Cliburn just completed his 28th season with the organization.
Caleb Abney, the hitting coach for the Twins’ rookie team in the Gulf Coast League, also will not be brought back.
La VELLE E. NEAL III