The Minnesota Twins announced today that their minor league managerial and coaching positions have been filled for the 2017 season.
Mike Quade will manage the Twins Triple-A affiliate Rochester Red Wings for the third straight season. Quade spent 2013-14 as a roving outfield and baserunning instructor for the New York Yankees. Prior to that, he served as Chicago Cubs Manager from 2010-11, Cubs coach from 2007-10, Triple-A Iowa (Cubs) manager from 2003-07, Oakland Athletics coach from 2000-02 and a minor league manager at various levels from 1985-99. Stu Cliburn returns as Rochester's pitching coach, a position he held from 2006-08. 2017 will mark Cliburn's 26th season in the Twins organization. Chad Allen returns for his second consecutive season as Rochester's hitting coach after spending 2013-15 as hitting coach with Twins Double-A affiliates. Larry Bennese will begin his fifth season as the Red Wings trainer and 22nd in the Twins organization. Tyler Burks will join the Red Wings as strength and conditioning coach, which will mark his second in the Twins organization. Burks spent most of 2016 with GCL Twins and finished the season with Double-A Chattanooga.
Jake Mauer will begin his 10th year as a manager in the Twins system and first with Double-A Chattanooga. He spent four seasons as manager of the Twins Single-A affiliate Cedar Rapids Kernels from 2013-16. Mauer was manager at Ft. Myers from 2010-12, managed the GCL Twins from 2008-09 and also coached three seasons in the GCL. Ivan Arteaga begins his second season as pitching coach of the Lookouts, and his 17th season as a pitching coach in the Twins organization. Javier Valentin will begin his first season as hitting coach for the Lookouts and his fourth season as coach in the Twins system; he played in the Twins organization from 1993-2002. Chris Johnson returns for his fifth season as trainer for the Twins Double-A affiliate and his 12th overall as a trainer in the Twins system.
Doug Mientkiewicz will enter his fifth season as a manager in the Twins organization. He returns to Single-A Ft. Myers after spending the previous two seasons as manager for Double-A Chattanooga. He managed at Ft. Myers from 2013-14. Mientkiewicz managed the Lookouts to the Southern League championship in 2015 and managed Single-A Ft. Myers to the Florida State League championship in 2014. Steve Singleton will begin his first season as hitting coach at Ft. Myers, after spending 2016 as hitting coach for GCL Twins. Henry Bonilla will spend his second season as pitching coach for the Miracle after spending 2015 with Single-A Cedar Rapids, 2013-14 with Rookie Level Elizabethton and 2012 with the GCL Twins. Alan Rail will begin his fifth season as the Miracle trainer after eight seasons with Beloit (2005-12) and one with Elizabethton (2004).
Tommy Watkins will manage Single-A Cedar Rapids, marking his first professional managing job. He spent 2016 as hitting coach for Chattanooga. 2017 will mark his eighth overall season as a manager or coach in the Twins system. J.P. Martinez will begin his third season as pitching coach in the Twins system and second with the Kernels after serving as GCL pitching coach in 2015. Brian Dinkelman will begin his second season as hitting coach for Cedar Rapids and third season as a coach in the Twins organization. Steve Taylor begins his second season as the Kernels trainer after spending 2015 as the trainer in Elizabethton and 2013-14 with the GCL Twins.
Ray Smith returns as manager for the Rookie Level Elizabethton Twins. Smith, who will be in his 31st season on staff for Elizabethton (24th as manager), has a career managerial record of 936-621 (.601) with 12 first place finishes in 22 seasons. Luis Ramirez returns as Elizabethton's pitching coach for the third consecutive season after spending 2013-14 with the GCL Twins and 2006-13 with the Twins Venezuelan Baseball Academy. Jeff Reed returns to Elizabethton for his 16th season as hitting coach. Davey La Croix will serve as trainer, marking his first season in the Twins organization after spending 2015-16 with the DSL Reds.
Ramon Borrego will begin his eighth season with the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League Twins, and seventh season as manager. Virgil Vasquez returns for his third consecutive season as GCL pitching coach. Cibney Bello will return for his second season with GCL as pitching coach/rehab. He spent four seasons as a coach in the Mariners system, including 2014-15 as pitching coach for Single-A Clinton. Toby Gardenhire will serve as hitting coach for the GCL Twins, his first season as a professional coach. Gardenhire played seven seasons in the Twins minor league system from 2005-11. Jose Marzan will serve as coach for GCL as well as Latin American Operations Coordinator. Axel Lopez returns to GCL as trainer for the third consecutive season. Phil Hartt will serve as GCL's strength and conditioning coach.
Asdrubal Estrada will manage the DSL Twins, as 2017 will mark his 15th season in the Twins organization. Manuel Santana returns as the DSL Twins pitching coach. Jimmy Alvarez, Leury Bonilla and Jairo Rodriguez will all serve as coaches for DSL Twins. Carlos Frias will begin his fourth year as the DSL trainer and Wladimir Morales will begin his first as trainer for DSL after spending 2016 at the Venezuelan Academy.
In addition, Joel Lepel returns for his 12th year as the Twins minor league field coordinator, Eric Rasmussen returns for his ninth season as pitching coordinator, and Sam Perlozzo will return as the minor league infield and baserunning coordinator for the fourth year. Rick Eckstein will begin his second season with the club as the hitting coordinator. He spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the University of Kentucky. Chad Jackson enters his 16th season with the Twins and fifth as the club's head minor league trainer and rehab coordinator. Erik Beiser will begin his fifth season as minor league strength and conditioning coordinator. Corey Dietze will begin his fourth year as the club's minor league rehab assistant. David Jeffrey will begin his third season as the minor league video coordinator. Brian Maloney enters his 12th season and second as Senior Manager of Florida Operations. Dave Ringler returns for his 21st season as equipment manager. Rafael Yanez returns for his third season as Florida and Latin American Operations Assistant. Victor Gonzalez will serve as Florida Operations Assistant, marking his first season.
Former Twins great Tony Oliva will continue in his role as hitting coach, in addition to his community relations activities with the club.