Twins announce Allen as pitching coach; Guardado, Vavra also named to staff

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It's official, the Minnesota Twins have named Neil Allen their new pitching coach.

The Twins made the announcement Tuesday, when they also named former Twins closer Eddie Guardado as the new bullpen coach and Joe Vavra, who has been with the Twins organization since 2002, as the bench coach.

Allen, who is replacing Rick Anderson, edged out Carl Willis for the position. He's been with the Tampa Bay Rays' system since 2007 and is known as having a good reputation for getting the farm system to produce.

He helped Tampa Bay develop a strong pitching staff that has kept the Rays in contention each year despite the low payroll, the Star Tribune reported.

Tuesday's announcement means the Twins are closer to finalizing their coaching staff, nearly a month after they named Paul Molitor as the new manager.

Other coaches already hired for Molitor's staff include hitting coach Tom Brunansky, assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez and third-base coach/infield instructor Gene Glynn.

The first base coach still isn't known, ESPN reports.

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