The Twins have decided to part ways with pitching coach Neil Allen, as La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune writes. While Paul Molitor will remain as the manager after inking a new deal, the organization is now on the market for a new hand to guide the pitching staff. Minnesota is sure to enter the offseason in search of ways to boost the productivity of its rotation after a season in which only two starters (Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios) turned in high-quality overall campaigns. While others showed signs at times — Kyle Gibson finished strong, for example — there’s clearly room to improve through both new acquisitions and internal development.
Here’s more from the American League:
- In other Twins news, the organization does not presently expect Miguel Sano to require surgery to address his shin injury, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports. Though there have been some prior indications to the contrary, a surgical option would be an “extreme” measure and isn’t on the table at this point, per the report. Berardino adds that young reliever J.T. Chargois is also not under consideration for a surgical approach despite missing virtually all of the season due to elbow problems. You’ll also find some player reactions to the coaching staff decisions at the link.
- What can the Orioles expect from shortstop Tim Beckham in 2018? Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun takes an interesting look at Beckham’s two months in Baltimore, explaining that Beckham no longer consistently made high-quality contact and reverted to his high-strikeout ways after his outstanding performance in August. All in all, Meoli sees signs of optimism despite Beckham’s inconsistencies. For a team with other significant needs, especially in the rotation, there’s probably little choice but to roll with Beckham — whose deadline acquisition still looks like an excellent move — and hope for the best.
- Another organization that figures to focus on pitching this winter, the Rangers, need to add volume to fill out their rotation, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reasons. The club likely won’t have the cash needed to add impact arms and needs to account for many spots on its rotation depth chart, beyond the five pitchers that’ll start the year in the rotation. Grant’s discussion drives home the challenge facing the Texas front office and the many moving parts involved.
- Meanwhile, the Rangers have authorized southpaw Alex Claudio to play in the Puerto Rican winter league despite his heavy usage this year, as Gerry Fraley of the Morning News writes. Claudio has now established himself as a quality late-inning piece after turning in 82 2/3 frames of 2.50 ERA ball, with just 6.1 K/9 against 1.6 BB/9 but a dominating 66.7% groundball rate on the year. While GM Jon Daniels says the club was inclined initially to protect Claudio, he notes that the reliever has succeeded based upon a routine that has long included winter ball stints. This year, moreover, the devastation of Hurricane Maria has pushed back and shortened the schedule.