Mike Quade, Jake Mauer and Doug Mientkiewicz will return to manage Twins’ minor league teams in 2017, but the latter two have new assignments.
Mientkiewicz, the former Twins first baseman who led Class AA Chattanooga to the Southern League championship in 2015, will coach the Class A Fort Myers Miracle, where he began his managing career in 2013. Mientkiewicz replaces Jeff Smith, promoted in December to Paul Molitor’s staff as the Twins’ first base coach.
Mauer, brother of the Twins’ first baseman Joe Mauer, will move up from Class A Cedar Rapids to Chattanooga. It’s the highest assignment yet for the 38-year-old St. Paul native entering his 10th season in the Twins’ system. He’ll be replaced with the Kernels by another longtime Twin — former infielder Tommy Watkins, who has served as a hitting coach for eight seasons.
Quade, meanwhile, will return to Class AAA Rochester for a third season, the Red Wings announced.
Awards hat trick for U
The No. 9 Gophers men’s hockey team swept this week’s Big Ten three stars honors after winning the 26th annual Mariucci Classic last weekend. Goalie Eric Schierhorn was named the first star, forwards Justin Kloos and Brent Gates the second and third stars, respectively.
The Gophers (11-5-2) beat Mercyhurst 5-1 and Massachusetts 4-1.
Schierhorn stopped 60 of 62 shots. Kloos had two shorthanded goals and two assists. Gates had his first career hat trick against Mercyhurst.
Diggins skis to second
Jessie Diggins of Afton finished second Tuesday in the third stage of the Tour de Ski in Oberstdorf, Germany.
Diggins was edged out by Sweden’s Stina Nilsson in a sprint to the finish of the 5K classic/5K freestyle skiathlon race. She is in fifth place after three of seven stages of the Tour de Ski, an annual multistage cross-country ski event held in Europe. Diggins began the freestyle leg in 18th place and moved up to take the lead at the halfway point, then battled Nilsson the rest of the way.
“That was a really exciting race, with the whole field staying so close together the entire race,’’ said Diggins, who is seventh in the women’s World Cup season standings. “I gave the finish stretch everything I had, and it was so exciting to be so close to the win. Today was a day that really builds confidence.’’
U wrestler honored
The Gophers’ Ethan Lizak, a 125-pound sophomore from Schnecksville, Pa., was named the Big Ten’s co-wrestler of the week. He had three major decisions over ranked opponents and was 5-0 overall with bonus points in each match to win his weight class at the Southern Scuffle, leading Minnesota to fourth place. He surrendered only two takedowns.