The Minnesota Twins are conducting their first search for a manager since 2002 and only their second search since 1986, when Tom Kelly took over for Ray Miller. The team dismissed Ron Gardenhire after 13 seasons as manager on Monday after four straight 90 loss seasons.
While Paul Molitor and Terry Steinbach are considered the frontrunners to take over the reigns, the Twins have another rising managerial star on their staff, who is starting to look like the popular pick.
Former Twins player Doug Mientkiewicz led their Class A affiliate Ft. Myers to the Florida State League Championship three weeks ago. In two seasons with the Miracle Mientkiewicz, 40, has led them to a 79-56 record in 2013 and to an 82-57 mark this year.
According to the News-Press, one of Mientkiewicz's biggest assets is his ability to relate to today's players. He has managed the team's top prospect Byron Buxton and rising power hitters Miguel Sano and Kennys Vargas. That gives him a managerial experience edge over either Molitor or Steinbach.
Pioneer Press writer Tom Powers says Mientkiewicz would be a fine and bold choice that would be "a jolt of electricity into a moribund franchise."
Twins general manager Terry Ryan said management will search both inside and outside of the organization to find the next manager, but he did indicate a preference to hire someone from the inside.