103 losses – in one season – tends to point a baseball team in the direction of change.
The Twins said Tuesday two members of Paul Molitor's coaching staff will not return for 2017. But apart from hitting coach Tom Brunansky and first base coach Butch Davis, the other five Twins coaches will be back next spring, the team announced.
Brunansky's roots with the Twins go back to his days playing right field on the 1987 World Series championship team.
He's been the hitting coach for the last four seasons. Davis has spent two years with the Twins focusing on outfield defense and baserunning.
MLB.com notes Davis spent much of spring training focusing on getting Miguel Sano acclimated to the outfield, something that ultimately was unsuccessful.
The Twins' new chief baseball officer, Derek Falvey, tells the Pioneer Press: “Bruno and Butch were great workers for the organization, but as we worked through and thought about the criteria and characteristics we wanted from our staff, we felt we wanted to upgrade in those two spots.”
The Twins were generally in the middle of the pack among American League teams in scoring during Brunansky's years. Strikeouts were a problem, though, with Twins batters ranking among the league's worst.
Speaking of worst, the Twins pitching staff allowed 889 runs this year. The Star Tribune points out that exceeds the next closest total by more than 120. But pitching coach Neil Allen is among those returning for 2017.
Injuries contributed to the Twins using a team-record 29 different pitchers this year and Allen tells the newspaper: “We had to use some guys who were not quite ready for the major leagues.” Allen says it's nice to have a chance for redemption and he thinks the pitching staff can get back on track.