Jayce Tingler never really considered taking some time off from baseball.
When the San Diego Padres fired him Oct. 6 after two very divergent seasons, Tingler returned to his hometown of Smithville, Mo., and spent most of his time shuttling his sons, 10-year-old Gabe and 8-year-old Gio, to various basketball, baseball and soccer practices . But he still spent time thinking about what his next MLB opportunity might be.
"I wanted to be patient," Tingler said Monday on a video call. "I had the opportunity to write down some of the things I would be looking for ideally. … [A team that is] very clear in the process, being around good people, being around people just all pulling the rope on the same end. That part was really clear."
He didn't have to wait long at all. The Twins announced Tingler as their new bench coach Monday, just a little more than a month after his Padres departure.
Tingler will be the Twins' fourth bench coach in as many seasons since Rocco Baldelli became manager in 2019. Derek Shelton held the position first before becoming the Pittsburgh Pirates manager. Mike Bell took over in 2020 but passed away from cancer during spring training this past season. The Twins did not name another bench coach in 2021, though Bill Evers seemed to shoulder some of the responsibility. He retired at the end of the season.
"Obviously, everyone knows what the last few years have been like, and is it easy? No, because some of that continuity is helpful in ideas, in working together as a group," Baldelli said. "And right now, I'm excited because I think we're going to have that continuity."
Both Baldelli and Derek Falvey, the Twins president of baseball operations, mentioned the bench coach's importance as being a partner for the manager, a resource for Baldelli to tap. And the 40-year-old Tingler has a lot to share.
"No better experience for that than to have managed and been in those situations, to have been in player development, impacted players across multiple organizations," Falvey said of Tingler. "He's someone who, really, the key trait, what stood out the most, is who he is as a person, who he is as a leader and how he goes about in helping players and staff and everyone around him."
A former outfielder, Tingler played collegiately for Missouri before the Toronto Blue Jays drafted him in the 10th round of the 2003 draft. He played in the minors for four seasons with Toronto and the Texas Rangers, rising to Double-A.
In 2007, he started his 13 seasons of coaching in the Rangers' system as a hitting coaching in the Dominican Summer League, eventually becoming the manager of that team. He held several player development roles in Texas' minor league system before the organization promoted him to the major league staff.
Tingler crossed paths with Twins General Manager Thad Levine at the Rangers, as Tingler actually became an assistant general manager when Levine departed for Minnesota in 2016. Tingler said Levine reached out to him after San Diego fired him and was the initial connection to joining the Twins.
He had a 116-106 record in his two Padres seasons, leading the team to the National League Division Series in 2020 but missing the playoffs entirely in 2021. He also made headlines during that stint for publicly admonishing Fernando Tatis Jr. for hitting a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch in a blowout game.
Tingler, a fluent Spanish speaker, said his first responsibility will be connecting with all the players and staff through phone calls and travel.
"I'm excited to learn from people, whether it's staff, whether it's analytics, whether it's just people in the department, excited to have conversations to learn how the processes have been ran in the past," Tingler said. "Maybe I can add value from some of my past experiences. But I think the most important thing early on is just getting to know one another."