To find their new bench coach, the Twins have tapped into one of the more well-known families in baseball.
Mike Bell, who has held various roles with the Diamondbacks over the past 13 seasons, will join the Twins as manager Rocco Baldelli’s right-hand man. He fills the role vacated by Derek Shelton, who left to become the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bell had been Arizona’s vice-president of player development over the past three seasons. Before that, he was the director of player development for six seasons.
Bell’s grandfather, Gus, played 15 seasons in the major leagues and was a four-time All-Star. His father, Buddy, played 18 seasons, was also a four-time All-Star and managed in the majors for nine seasons.
Mike’s brother, David, is headed into his second season as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
It looks as if Mike Bell, 45, has put himself on a path to manage one day as well. He interviewed for openings with the Rangers and Orioles last season and was a candidate to take over the Mets before they settled on Carlos Beltran earlier this offseason.
Mike Bell was the 30th overall pick of the Rangers in 1993 and later was an original expansion pick of the Diamondbacks.
He played in 13 minor league seasons and 19 games in the majors with the Reds in 2000, hitting two home runs. His post playing career began in 2007 when he led the short-season Yakima Bears of the Northwest League. He managed Class A Visalia in 2008 and 2009 before being hired as minor league field coordinator.
Shelton was the Twins bench coach for two seasons, first working under Paul Molitor in 2018 and then Baldelli this past season.
Shelton showed impressive communication and organizational skills, which made him an attractive manager candidate.
Shelton interviewed for the Twins job after the club parted ways with Molitor, and also was a candidate for the Rangers job. He didn’t get the job and instead agreed to remain with the Twins in 2019, and contributed to a 101-win season. It was expected that Shelton would be a hot commodity this offseason.
Now the Twins will turn to Bell, who also appears to be a manager of the near future.
The Twins have yet to announce a new assistant pitching coach to replace Jeremy Hefner, who left to become pitching coach of the Mets.
• Under President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine, the Twins have not been shy to hire staffers from a variety of backgrounds.
And that has continued with the addition of Chris Mitchell as a pro scouting analyst. Mitchell’s background includes a stint at fangraphs.com, where his prospect projections were interesting reads.