On October 4th, the Minnesota Twins cleaned house with their coaching staff, firing almost everybody except for pitching coach Rick Anderson and manager Ron Gardenhire, plus the reassigning of coaches Scott Ullger and Joe Vavra. On October 22nd, the Twins named the new staff of Tom Brunansky, Bobby Cuellar and Terry Steinbach (according to ESPN).
As expected, former fan favorite Tom Brunansky was announced as the team’s new hitting coach. Brunansky has been making his way up the Twins' minor league ladder as a hitting coach, two years ago being in Double-A New Britain and this past season being in Triple-A Rochester.
The other expected move that came down on Monday morning was the addition of Bobby Cuellar as the Twins' new bullpen coach. He was the pitching coach with Triple-A Rochester last season. Cuellar has major league experience as a pitching coach with the Seattle Mariners (1995-1996), the Montreal Expos (1997-2000) and the Texas Rangers (2001).
Cuellar is bilingual in English and Spanish. The Twins have always wanted a member of the coaching staff with the ability to speak Spanish so some things won’t be lost in translation between the coaches and Spanish-speaking players.
According to the Wikipedia page on Bobby Cuellar (it’s Wikipedia, so we all know that means someone could have fibbed a little bit), it states that Cuellar taught Johan Santana his changeup while both were with the Edmonton Trappers.
The unexpected announcement was that Terry Steinbach would be the Twins' new bench coach and catching instructor. Steinbach is from New Ulm, Minnesota, which is just under two hours from the gates of Target Field. Steinbach was a member of the Twins from 1997-1999 after spending most of his career as a catcher for the Oakland A’s. The 50-year-old does not have any full-time major league coaching experience.
The Twins also addressed the statuses of Scott Ullger and Joe Vavra. We have known that Ullger would be the outfield instructor and that Vavra would be the infield instructor. On Monday it was announced that Ullger would also be the team’s first base coach and Vavra would take over as the third base coach.
It was speculated that Minnesota native and current Rochester Red Wings manager Gene Glynn would have been a part of this new staff, but that did not come to fruition. Instead, he will stay on in his current position.
October 4th: The Twins wiped away the sorrows of two straight 90-plus-loss seasons. October 22nd: The Twins picked the men they believe can bring them back to the top of the American League.