Terry Ryan, Executive Vice President, General Manager, announced this morning that the Twins have named Tom Brunansky (hitting coach), Bobby Cuellar (bullpen coach) and Terry Steinbach (bench coach and catching instructor) to the Major League coaching staff. In addition, Ron Gardenhire has announced that Scott Ullger will coach first base in addition to outfield instruction, while Joe Vavra will be the club’s third base coach as well as infield instructor.
Brunansky, who will serve as the Twins hitting coach, finished his second full season in the organization after joining the GCL Twins in July of 2010. He spent 2011 as hitting coach for Double-A New Britain and 2012 as hitting coach for Triple-A Rochester. The 52-year old Brunansky played 14 seasons in the Major Leagues with California, Minnesota, St. Louis, Boston and Milwaukee. He was drafted in the first round (14th overall) of the 1978 First-Year Player Draft by California and was traded to Minnesota in 1982. He was an All-Star in 1985 and member of the 1987 World Champion Minnesota Twins.
Cuellar, who will serve as the Twins bullpen coach, finished his ninth season in the Twins’ organization and fourth consecutive as the Red Wings pitching coach after serving as Double-A New Britain’s manager in 2008. The 60-year old Cuellar was the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen coach in 2006-07 after spending 2003-05 as Rochester’s pitching coach. Cuellar’s other Major League experience came when he was pitching coach for the Texas Rangers (2001), Montreal Expos (1997-2000) and Seattle Mariners (1995-96). Cuellar, who also served as a coach in Mariners minor league system 1983-94, was selected by the Texas Rangers in 29th round of 1974 First-Year Player Draft as a right-handed pitcher from the University of Texas. He played 11 years in the Rangers, Indians and Mariners systems, appearing in four games for Texas in 1977.
Steinbach, who will serve as the Twins bench coach and catching instructor, will begin his first coaching job in 2013. The former big league catcher spent part of 14 seasons with the Oakland Athletics (1986-96) and Minnesota Twins (1997-99), after playing college baseball at the University of Minnesota. The three-time all-star appeared in 1,546 games, hitting .271 with 162 home runs and 745 RBI, as well as catching two no-hitters and winning a World Series in 1989 with Oakland. Since retiring after the 1999 season, the 50-year old native of New Ulm, Minnesota, has assisted the Twins Spring Training staff for 13 seasons.