Rocco Baldelli was AL Manager of the Year in his first season as the Twins rolled to 101 victories, but he lost three key members of his coaching staff as a result.
Derek Shelton, bench coach: A top managerial prospect the past three seasons (he finished runner-up to Baldelli for the Twins job), Shelton will manage the Pittsburgh Pirates as they go through a rebuild. The Bucs’ payroll is $49 million after a season where they won only 69 games.
James Rowson, hitting coach: The Twins set a major league record for home runs, and Rowson got a promotion to bench coach and “offensive coordinator” for the Miami Marlins, giving him power over the team’s minor league system as well. Manager Don Mattingly is in his fifth season, and the young Marlins lost 105 games last season.
Jeremy Hefner, assistant pitching coach: Hefner landed a job as pitching coach for the New York Mets, for whom he once pitched. An advance scout for the Twins in 2017 and 2018 before getting a field position, Hefner was lauded for his innovation with the Twins.
Mike Bell, bench coach: The 45-year-old was vice president of player development the past three seasons in Arizona and had been with the Diamondbacks in various posts for 16 years. Grandson of four-time All-Star Gus Bell, son of four-time All-Star (and ex-big league manager) Buddy Bell and brother of Reds manager David Bell, there’s no question about his baseball pedigree. He played 19 games in the major leagues and was a candidate for at least three managerial openings over the past two seasons.
Edgar Varela, hitting coach: Varela, 39, was the Twins’ minor league field coordinator the past two seasons. He managed at the rookie level and was Pittsburgh’s Latin American hitting coordinator in 2017.
Rudy Hernandez, hitting coach: In his sixth season on the coach staff, Hernandez got a title bump from assistant coach. It will also be the 25th season in the Twins organization for the 51-year-old native of Venezuela.
Wes Johnson, pitching coach: The Twins took a chance by hiring Johnson, a longtime college pitching coach, to make the jump to the big leagues. It paid off. Johnson, 48, found a rapport with his staff and in an era of offense the team lowered its ERA (from 4.50 to 4.18), increased strikeouts and had fewer walks.
Tommy Watkins, first base coach: The 39-year-old “Mayor of Fort Myers” (his hometown) played for the Twins, managed in the organization, and joined the major league staff last season.
Tony Diaz, third base coach: After two seasons as Colorado’s first base coach, Diaz came to the Twins in 2019. Like seven players on the team’s 40-man roster, the 43-year-old is native of the Dominican Republic.
Bill Evers, major league coach: Joe Maddon’s former bench coach in Tampa Bay is 66 and in his second season working with Baldelli — and his 45th in organized baseball.
Bob McClure, bullpen coach: McClure, 67, moves to the field to replace Hefner after being a senior adviser to the team. After a major league career that spanned 19 seasons with seven teams, he was a big league pitching coach for 11 seasons with the Phillies, Royals and Red Sox.