10:20 PM EST, Fri November 28, 2014

TFD: Eddie Guardado spending Thanksgiving with Torii Hunter, trying to recruit him to the Twins

We had a good chat with former Twins pitcher and new bullpen coach Eddie Guardado today on a number of subjects for a future Page 2 story, but one nugget stood out as relevant for both amusement and news: Guardado is spending Thanksgiving in Texas with old teammates LaTroy Hawkins and Torii Hunter. Guardado and Hawkins have remained close for years, and both are clearly still pals with Hunter. The interesting thing, of course, is that the Twins are said to be in pursuit of Hunter in free agency. So we naturally had to ask Guardado if he would be doing any recruiting while he was hanging out...

Twinsights: Terry Ryan on Torii Hunter's leadership, production

What can Terry Ryan say about the Twins' free-agent pursuit of Torii Hunter? "Not much," the Twins' general manager said with a laugh Wednesday on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio channel. And then, Ryan being an accommodating sort of guy, he expounded a bit to hosts Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette. "I don’t want to get too deep into that other than the fact we could use a right-handed bat," Ryan said. "We’re dominant from the left side in the outfield." Of course, there's more about the 39-year-old Hunter that's appealing beyond his right-handed thump. "We're looking for some experience,...

Twinsights: Neil Allen on the influence of Whitey Herzog, Bob Gibson

Neil Allen's hallmark is an upbeat, high-energy approach to working with his pitchers, but it might surprise you to learn the root of those origins. When I asked the Twins' new pitching coach last week during our phone conversation to identity the top influence on him as a pitching coach, he paused before offering up someone who never held the role: Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog, for whom he pitched parts of three seasons (1983-85) with the St. Louis Cardinals. "He wasn't a pitching coach  but I loved the way he handled his pitchers," Allen told me. "Whitey was […] The post...

Twinsights: Ex-Twins coaches Bobby Cuellar, Gary Lucas land on their feet

It will be a happy Thanksgiving for two more longtime Twins coaches who have landed on their feet with new employment opportunities. Bobby Cuellar, whose contract was not renewed after 11 total years with the organization, has accepted a position as a pitching coach in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Cuellar will work in the Pioneer League with the rookie-level Ogden (Utah) Raptors. Jack McDowell, the former big-league pitcher, managed the Raptors in 2014 and is expected to return for a second season. “Age does not matter,” said Cuellar, the Twins bullpen coach the past two seasons...

Guardado among trio formally hired to Twins coaching staff

Only one spot remains with Joe Vavra, Neil Allen and Eddie Guardado in.

Twinsights: Carl Willis (and his son) think the world of Neil Allen

Despite being “extremely disappointed” with the Twins decision to pass him over for their pitching coach position, Carl Willis had nothing but praise for the man who beat him out: Neil Allen. “I know Neil. He’s a good guy,” Willis said. “To be honest, he’s been through a lot. He deserves an opportunity. I’m excited for him.” Willis, 53, had conducted his second phone interview with the Twins, this time with manager Paul Molitor, a few days earlier when his son Daniel rushed into the room last Wednesday night and informed him of another of his fellow finalists. “It’s...
St. Paul Pioneer Press Nov 25, 2014

Twins 'start fresh' with Neil Allen as pitching coach

Calling Neil Allen "the right guy at the right time," Twins general manager Terry Ryan announced the hiring of the longtime minor-league pitching coach on Tuesday afternoon.

Twinsights: Twins 'start fresh,' hire Neil Allen as pitching coach

Calling Neil Allen "the right guy at the right time," Twins general manager Terry Ryan announced the hiring of  the longtime minor-league pitching coach on Tuesday afternoon. Also announced were former Twins closer Eddie Guardado as bullpen coach and holdover Joe Vavra, who will move from third-base coach to bench coach. Allen, 56, beat out fellow finalists Carl Willis and Eric Rasmussen. Former Twins World Series MVP Frank Viola also interviewed for the position. Allen spend the past eight seasons in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, including the past four as pitching coach at Triple-A...

Twinsights: Twins announce coaching hires, Anthony Swarzak outrighted

The Twins took right-hander Anthony Swarzak off their 40-man roster and outrighted him to Triple-A Rochester. Swarzak, who had been projected to make $1.4 million via arbitration next season, has the right to elect free agency and was expected to do so. The Twins’ second-round pick in 2004 out of Nova High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Swarzak was a valuable swingman for the Twins in recent years. He went 3-2 with a 4.60 earned run average in 50 outings (four starts) in 2014, working 86 innings while earning $935,000. By removing Swarzak, the Twins have an open spot on […] The post...

Twins appoint Vavra as Molitor's bench coach

New Twins manager puts pitching staff in hands of Allen and Guardado, two former major-league closers
St. Paul Pioneer Press Nov 24, 2014

Former Minnesota Twin Josh Willingham retires

Josh Willingham is retiring after 11 major league seasons, agent Matt Sosnick said Monday.
St. Paul Pioneer Press Nov 22, 2014
Minnesota Twins hire Neil Allen as pitching coach, source says

Minnesota Twins hire Neil Allen as pitching coach, source says

Three weeks after selecting Paul Molitor as their new manager, the Twins finally got around to picking a pitching coach.
St. Paul Pioneer Press Nov 22, 2014

Charley Walters: Torii Hunter, Twins have 'common interest' in reunion

Free-agent outfielder Torii Hunter told the Pioneer Press on Saturday that he favors the Twins among teams with which he is considering signing and that he could make a decision in a week or so.

Twinsights: Neil Allen apparently gets the nod as Twins pitching coach

Three weeks after selecting Paul Molitor as their new manager, the Twins finally got around to picking a pitching coach. “From all indications” Neil Allen has edged out fellow finalist Carl Willis for the position, according to a source close to the process. Twins general manager Terry Ryan called Willis on Friday night to inform him he had been eliminated, the source said. Allen, 56, is a former New York Yankees bullpen coach (2005) who spent the past eight seasons working in the Tampa Bay Rays system. The past four of those were as the pitching coach at Triple-A Durham, […] The post...

Twinsights: Andrew Albers in 'limbo' after rocky debut in Korean league

What’s next for former Twins left-hander Andrew Albers after a rocky debut season in the Korea Baseball Organization? “Great question,” Albers said Saturday by phone from Saskatchewan. “I have no idea. I’m kind of in limbo right now.” In 28 starts for the Hanwha Eagles, Albers struggled to a 6-13 record and a 5.89 earned run average. In 151 1/3 innings, he allowed a whopping 200 hits (18 homers) and 40 walks while striking out just 107 in the offense-happy league. Albers, 29, is open to returning for a second season in the KBO after making $700,000 this year. However, […] The...

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