The Twins announced that they’ve hired veteran coach Derek Shelton as the new bench coach to manager Paul Molitor. Minnesota’s bench coach position became vacant when Joe Vavra joined Ron Gardenhire’s coaching staff in Detroit.
Shelton, 47, has a long track record as a big league coach and a minor league manager. The former catcher coached and managed in the Yankees’ minor league ranks in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Since that time, he’s spent a half decade as the Indians’ hitting coach (2005-09) and seven seasons as the Rays’ hitting coach (2010-16) before joining the Blue Jays as a quality control coach in 2017. Shelton’s time with the Indians briefly overlapped with that of current Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey, though Falvey had not yet climbed the organizational ranks with the Indians by the time Shelton left.
The 2018 season will be Shelton’s 14th season as a coach at the Major League level and his first as a bench coach. He’ll join first-year pitching coach Garvin Alston on a slightly revamped Twins coaching staff that will once again be guided by Molitor, who inked a three-year extension with the club last month.