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Molitor, Ryan make a new pitching coach a top priority

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Now that he has been named the 13th manager of the Minnesota Twins, Paul Molitor is getting to work on assembling his coaching staff.

Early speculation has centered around several names including some of Molitor's former teammates in Milwaukee – like fellow Hall of Famer Robin Yount and others.

But writer Rhett Bollinger notes some familiar names could end up on the Twins staff.

Twins general manager Terry Ryan is set to start helping Molitor assemble his staff and since Molitor was on the staff of Ron Gardenhire last year, it seems likely that at least some of those staff members will be held over.

The most likely assistants to stay would be hitting coach Tom Brunansky and bench coach Terry Steinbach.

One that won't return on the new staff is Rick Anderson. According to Bollinger's report, finding a pitching coach is a top priority.

"We all know Paul hasn't managed, and managing the pitching staff is going to be a big piece, so we have to surround him with quality coaches," said Ryan. "We'll both have input. ...I have a lengthy list of names, and now we'll move forward and see if we can find the right fit."

So who might the Twins be considering as a pitching coach?

According to the Pioneer Press, Twins World Series hero Jack Morris indicated that he would be interested.

"The answer is yes, but obviously it's Terry [Ryan's] and Paul's decision, and I want them to be successful, no matter what happens," Morris told the newspaper on Tuesday.

Morris has worked as a Twins radio and television analyst, and also worked some post-season broadcasts for FOX Sports. Like Molitor, Morris is a St. Paul native and was a teammate of Molitor's in Toronto.

"I would love to entertain the idea, but if it doesn't happen, that's fine, too, because I'm very content with where I am," Morris said.

The Pioneer Press also notes several others will be considered. Here is a partial list:

  • Frank Viola – former Twins Cy Young award winner and World Series MVP, has been working as a pitching coach in the Mets minor league system
  • Jim Benedict – special assistant to Pittsburgh GM Neal Hutchinson, specializes in turnaround projects
  • Bobby Cueller – Twins bullpen coach.
  • Carl Willis – former Twins reliever, has been the pitching coach in Seattle and Cleveland
  • Jamie Navarro – former Molitor teammate in Milwaukee, now is Seattle's Triple A pitching coach

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