Joe Vavra, who served as hitting coach, first-base coach and third-base coach under Ron Gardenhire, will remain on new manager Paul Molitor's staff as bench coach, the Twins announced on Tuesday.

    Vavra was hired in 2006 as hitting coach, and held the position until Tom Brunansky was appointed to the post for the 2013 season. The Menomonee, Wis., native, whose two sons play in the Twins' minor-league system, joins Brunansky as holdovers from Gardenhire's staff.

    The Twins also announced  the previously disclosed hirings of Neil Allen as pitching coach and Eddie Guardado as bullpen coach, putting the team's pitching staff in the hands of a pair of former closers who have impressive reputations among their pupils, but no major-league experience in their new jobs.

    Allen, an 11-year big-league veteran, has spent eight years working with pitchers in the Rays' system, the last four at Class AAA Durham. And Guardado, who pitched for 17 seasons in the majors including a dozen in Minnesota, has helped tutor relief pitchers at the team's spring camp for the past two seasons.

    They join hitting coach Tom Brunansky, assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez and third-base coach Gene Glynn on new manager Paul Molitor's coaching staff next season. The team has yet to hire a first-base or bench coach.

    The Rays' pitching staff has been generally strong for the past half-dozen seasons, and Allen, 56, helped develop Tampa Bay's pitching staff from the Triple-A level. Pitchers like Chris Archer, Alex Cobb and Jake Odorizzi, each of whom won at least 10 games for the Rays in 2014, were pupils of Allen's at Durham.

    Allen pitched 11 seasons in the major leagues from 1979-1989 with the Mets, Cardinals, White Sox, Yankees and Indians, posting a career 3.88 ERA with a 58-70 record and 75 saves. He was a teammate of former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire with the Mets.

    Guardado, 44, was elected to the Twins Hall of Fame in 2013 for posting 116 saves during his career in Minnesota. He retired in 2009, but was enlisted by Gardenhire to help coach the team's pitchers each spring in Fort Myers, Fla.

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