Twins announce 2023 minor league staffs

Thursday, the Minnesota Twins announced the organization’s 2023 minor league coaching staffs.

The club notes that, for the fourth consecutive year, all six affiliates will have two pitching coaches — one of whom is bilingual — while the top four levels have five-person coaching staffs.

At Triple-A St. Paul, Toby Gardenhire returns for his third season as manager of the Saints after leading the club to a 74-75 record and a fourth-place finish in the International League West Division in 2022. It’ll be his fifth managerial campaign in the Twins’ organization (High-A Fort Myers in 2019 and Low-A Cedar Rapids in 2018).

Nate Spears will be the Saints’ hitting coach, after serving the last two seasons in the same role with High-A Greenville in the Boston Red Sox organization. Cibney Bello and Peter Larson will serve as the Saints’ pitching coaches. Bello will mark his eighth year as a coach in the Twins organization and third straight at the Triple-A level, while Larson is in his fifth year in the organization and joins the St. Paul staff after serving as Double-A pitching coach last season. Tyler Smarslok will return for his third season with the Saints as the club’s defensive coach. Ben Myers will return as St. Paul’s head trainer, Taylor Carpenter will be assistant athletic trainer and Cody Drouin will return as the club’s strength coach for the second-consecutive year. Matt Tramp will serve as the Saints’ clubhouse manager and assistant to baseball operations. Lincoln Ficek and Alek Hughes will be the club’s coordinators of baseball technology.

At Double-A Wichita, Ramon Borrego, who has guided his last five clubs to the postseason, will manage the Wind Surge again in 2023 after leading last year’s squad to a 78-59 record, a first-place finish in the Texas League North Division, a two-game sweep in the Divisional series and a berth in the circuit’s Championship series. Borrego has managed 12 seasons at various levels in the Twins organization.

Shawn Schlechter will join the Wind Surge as hitting coach after spending the 2022 season in the same role for High-A Cedar Rapids. DJ Engle and Dan Urbina will serve as the club’s pitching coaches. Engle spent the last two seasons as a pitching coach for the DSL Twins, while Urbina returns for his fifth season in the Twins organization. Takashi Miyoshi will serve as Wichita’s bench coach after serving in that same capacity for Low-A Fort Myers in 2022. Tyler Blair returns as the Wind Surge’s lead athletic trainer, while Katie Lortie has been promoted from the FCL Twins to serve as assistant athletic trainer and Jacob Needham makes the jump from High-A to be Wichita’s strength and conditioning coach. Chase Carder will be the Wind Surge’s coordinator of baseball technology.

At High-A Cedar Rapids, Brian Dinkelman returns as manager of the Kernels after leading the team to the Midwest League West Division first-half title and a 73-58 overall record, tied with South Bend for the division’s best record. The 2023 season will be the former Twins infielder’s ninth year as a coach in the organization and his third campaign as manager for the Kernels.

Corbin Day will join the Kernels for his first season as the club’s hitting coach, after three seasons as an assistant coach at Kirkwood Community College. Yeison Peréz will serve as hitting and development coach for Cedar Rapids, making the transition from the FCL Twins. Carlos Hernandez and Jonas Lovin will serve as the club’s pitching coaches, with Hernandez beginning his sixth year as a coach in the Twins’ system and Lovin entering his first, after most recently serving as the pitching coach for Iowa Central Community College. Head Trainer Matt Smith begins his fourth campaign in the Twins organization and second with the Kernels, while Randy Yang returns as the club’s assistant athletic trainer. Blake Kretovics will serve as the Kernels’ strength and conditioning coach after working in the Twins organization in 2022. The Kernels’ coordinator of baseball technology will be Jeremy Miranda.

At Low-A Fort Myers, Brian Meyer, who was named 2022 Florida State League Manager of the Year after leading his team to a 69-59 record and West Division crown, returns for a third season as the manager of the Mighty Mussels.

Rayden Sierra will return for his third season as hitting coach for the club in 2023. Luis Reyes, who spent the 2022 season as a hitting coach for the FCL Twins, will serve as the Mussels’ assistant hitting coach. The Mighty Mussels’ pitching coaches will be Jared Gaynor and Richard Salazar. Gaynor enters his fifth year as pitching coach in the Twins organization and second consecutive with the Mussels, while Salazar begins his sixth year in Minnesota’s system. Chase Thompson will return as the club’s lead athletic trainer and Asja Morello joins as assistant athletic trainer after serving on the FCL Twins staff in 2022. Additionally, the Mighty Mussels’ strength and conditioning coach will be Sarah Szuba (who spent 2022 with the FCL Twins), while their coordinator of baseball technology will be Byron Oliver.

At rookie-level Florida Complex League/Lee County Sports Complex, Seth Feldman will manage the Florida Complex League Twins, his second consecutive season with that team and fifth year in the organization, after previously managing the Dominican Summer League affiliate in 2019 and 2021.

The FCL team and complex staff will comprise three hitting coaches: Emilio Guerrero, Humberto Miranda and Collin McBride. The team’s four pitching coaches will be Argenis Angulo, Anders Dzurak, Calvin Maduro and Kevin Rodriguez. Andrew DiTullio will be the team’s rehab hitting coach and Josh Tols will serve as the rehab pitching coach. Allison Susa will serve as the lead trainer for the club, with Thaddeus Hayes and Morgan Leichtenberger as the assistant trainers. Matt Anti, John Behr and Jean Castillo will be the strength and conditioning coaches, with John Gentile serving as the rehab strength and conditioning coach. Nick Coberly, Christian Hintz, Danielle Honnette and Edwin Porras will be the physical therapists for the FCL team and the complex. Matt Cheesman is the minor league equipment manager and Jimmy Couto is the assistant minor league clubhouse manager. The complex’s coordinator of baseball technology will be Kevin Marable.

At rookie-level Dominican Summer League, Rafael Martinez will take the helm of the Dominican Summer League Twins for the second consecutive season.

Jairo Rodriguez will shift from Cedar Rapids to be one of the DSL Twins’ hitting coaches; he is joined by Ruben Santana, who returns for his second-consecutive season in this role. Erick Julio and Jesus Sanchez will split duties as pitching coaches for the DSL Twins. Jimmy Alvarez will serve as the infield coach and has been part of the DSL’s staff since 2009. The DSL medical staff will consist of trainers Carlos Frias, Wladimir Morales and Camille Pacheco, along with strength and conditioning coach Miguel Cabrera and Latin American strength and conditioning coordinator Juan Carlos Pinto. Francisco Solano is the manager, Dominican academy operations and Carlos Naut serves as the assistant, academy administrator. Nataly Burgos is the assistant, international operations and Christian Balbuena is the Dominican academy’s maintenance assistant. Benedicto Herrera is the academy’s driver, Wilkin Mora is the maintenance lead, Adolfo Perez is the clubhouse manager and Jose Carrion is the clubhouse assistant. Pierre Jacotin will serve as specialist, language and continuing education.

Additionally, the organization announced:

  • Jeremy Zoll will enter his fourth season as vice president, assistant general manager and sixth overall with the Twins.
  • Alex Hassan enters his sixth season in the Twins organization and first as vice president, hitting development and acquisitions.
  • Drew MacPhail is the Twins’ director, player development.
  • Brian Maloney is the director, minor league and high performance operations.
  • Amanda Daley is the director of player education.
  • Tommy Bergjans and Frankie Padulo will serve as the club’s assistant directors, player development.
  • Josh Ruffin is the assistant director, player development research.
  • Chad Raines and Grey Wilburn are the analysts, baseball research.
  • Kevin Morgan will return as minor league field coordinator.
  • Edgar Varela will be the coordinator of instruction for the second-consecutive season.
  • Julio Borbón will be assistant coordinator of instruction, his second year in the role.
  • Justin Willard returns for his third season as pitching coordinator and sixth year with the Twins.
  • Nat Ballenberg shifts from special projects pitching coordinator to assistant pitching coordinator.
  • Bryce Berg returns to his role of hitting coordinator for the second year, his fourth year in the organization.
  • Ryan Smith, who was the Triple-A St. Paul hitting coach in 2022, will be the club’s assistant hitting coordinator.
  • Tucker Frawley will serve as infield and catching coordinator.
  • Mike Quade returns for his sixth campaign as outfield coordinator.
  • Ian Kadish returns as the club’s director of strength and conditioning.
  • Chad Jackson enters his 22nd season with the Twins as minor league medical administration coordinator.
  • Bryan Housand begins his second season with the Twins as minor league ATC coordinator.
  • David Rak will return as minor league strength and conditioning coordinator.
  • Evan McDonald has been promoted to Florida complex strength and conditioning coordinator.
  • Axel Lopez will serve as Latin American medical coordinator.
  • Martijn Verhoeven is the assistant director, sports science.
  • Tyler Schmitz is the manager, baseball technology.
  • Victor Gonzalez is the assistant director, Florida and Dominican Republic operations.
  • Jason Davila is the manager, minor league operations.
  • Linda Merlo will again be the club’s language and culture development supervisor.
  • Kara Lynch enters her fourth season with the Twins and third as director of performance nutrition.
  • Alana Widen serves as the performance dietician.
  • Isabella Burrola as the performance nutrition assistant.
  • Andres Acosta, Martin Barta and Cole Satterfield will serve as the 2023 Florida operations interns.