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Report: Twins interview Carl Willis for pitching coach opening

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A name early 1990s Twins fans will remember is a candidate for the Minnesota Twins pitching coach job.

The Pioneer Press reports that Carl Willis has interviewed for the job.

“I’m not really aware of their timetable, but I’m sure they’re trying to get everything squared away,” Willis told Twins beat writer Mike Berardino. “It’s a big decision, obviously. I don’t know who they’ve talked with, but I certainly respect the fact that, after the manager, it’s probably their biggest hire.”

Willis played nine seasons in the big leagues, spending time with the Tigers, Reds, White Sox and Twins. He joined Minnesota in 1991 and finished his playing career in 1995. He went 20-10 with a 3.65 earned-run average in 204 appearances out of the Twins' bullpen, according to Baseball Reference.

The 53-year-old has spoken on the phone with manager Paul Molitor and general manager Terry Ryan.

Willis' last job as a pitching coach ended in 2013 when the Seattle Mariners fired him. A report from the Seattle Times said Willis was fired simply because then-manager Eric Wedge decided to leave the organization because of philosophical differences. Bringing him back under new mananger Lloyd McClendon would have been "uncomfortable."

His first big-league pitching coach position came in 2003 with the Cleveland Indians.

C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez have won Cy Young awards with Willis as their pitching coach.

It was reported by Ken Rosenthal in early October that Rick Anderson, the Twins pitching coach the past 13 seasons, would not return.

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