The Twins announced on Thursday that they’ve selected Athletics bullpen coach Garvin Alston as their new pitching coach, replacing the previously dismissed Neil Allen.
Alston, 45, was the Diamondbacks’ bullpen coach in 2016 and opened the 2017 season as the Padres’ coordinator of pitching rehab before joining the Athletics as their bullpen coach for the bulk of the 2017 season. He’s served as a minor league pitching coach and minor league pitching rehab coordinator with the A’s for parts of 10 years as well. Alston made a handful of appearances with the 1996 Rockies during his playing days and spent parts of nine seasons playing professionally after being taken in the 10th round of the 1992 draft.
With the Twins, he’ll be tasked with molding a young staff that is fronted by veteran Ervin Santana but otherwise figures to consist largely of still-developing arms. Young Jose Berrios is among the Twins’ most important core pieces, and top prospects Stephen Gonsalves and Fernando Romero could both figure to factor into the Twins’ 2018 plans (though both will almost certainly open the year in Triple-A). Alston’s background in pitching rehab is also of note for a club with Phil Hughes (thoracic outlet surgery), Trevor May (Tommy John surgery) and touted minor league relievers Nick Burdi (Tommy John surgery) and J.T. Chargois (stress reaction in right elbow) all missing the majority of the season due to injury.