Pitching coach Neil Allen has been fired by the Twins, ending a three-year run with the club.
Allen was at his home in Sarasota, Fla., when he was informed by the club that he would not be brought back.
“First and foremost, I have to thank Terry Ryan and Paul Molitor for giving the opportunity to be a big league pitching coach,” Allen said, mentioning the Twins former GM and current manager. “I could have not have asked for a better manager to start my pitching coach career under. He was easy to work with. He was very self-explanatory.”
The move was made hours after the Twins announced that Molitor had agreed to a new three-year contract to manage ther team.
The Twins team ERA of 4.59 was just 19th in baseball this season, but it was an improvement from 5.08 in 2016 (29th in baseball). In 2015, his first season with the Twins, the staff ERA was 4.07, 19th in the league.
Allen joined from Class AAA Durham of the Rays chain, where he worked with several pitchers who have been productive in the major leagues, like Alex Cobb, Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi and others.
There have been some improvements with the Twins, such as righthander Jose Berrios stepping up to form a one-two rotation punch with veteran Ervin Santana. Also, young righthanders Trevor Hildenberger and Alan Busenitz and lefthander Taylor Rogers earned Molitor’s trust during the season.
Still, the club wants to head in another direction. Allen also had to distance himself from a drunken driving arrest in May 2016 that forced him to leave the club for six weeks while he attended a treatment program.
“When I hit my bump in the road last year, Terry Ryan stood there by me and helped me get my life back on track,” Allen said. “For that, there are no words to describe how much I thank them.
“I wish things would have been different at times along the way. But it is what it is. But I could not be more thankful to have those two individuals to start my career under.”
Allen was home when he received the call, but soon left his house to ponder his future.
“I’m out here walking on the golf course, trying to decide what Neil Allen is going to do now,” he said. “ What direction do I go, and how I go about doing this because I have never been in this predicament before.”