9:40am: The Twins issued a press release formally announcing Baldelli as their new manager.
7:08am: The Twins are set to hire Rays field coordinator Rocco Baldelli as their new manager, with an announcement expected later today, as FOX 9 Sports in the Twin Cities reported late last night (Twitter link). La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune first indicated that Baldelli, 37, had separated himself from the pack in the Twins’ search for a replacement for recently dismissed manager Paul Molitor.
Baldelli had previously been in consideration for several managerial vacancies, with both the Blue Jays and Rangers reported to have him among their top candidates. Incumbent Twins bench coach Derek Shelton was also said to be a finalist, and Neal notes that Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde was the team’s other top choice. It seems quite possible that Shelton, who served on the Rays’ coaching staff with Baldelli until being hired by the Twins last offseason, could remain on hand as the bench coach, given his familiarity with Baldelli.
While he’s never managed at any level previously, Baldelli spent three seasons as the Rays’ first base coach (2015-17) and was also in charge of the team’s outfield instruction in that time. The organization created the new role of Major League field coordinator for Baldelli in 2018 — a role in which he assisted manager Kevin Cash and bench coach Charlie Montoyo with a heavy focus on player development at the MLB level.
Of course, Baldelli is better known for his career as a big league outfielder. Injuries ruined what looked to be an exceptionally promising career for the former No. 6 overall pick (Rays, 2000), who debuted in the Majors as a 21-year-old back in 2003. Baldelli hit a combined .285/.326/.425 with 27 homers and 44 steals through his first 292 big league games, flashing the potential to emerge as a true five-tool asset for a still-young Rays franchise. He suffered an ACL tear in the 2004-05 offseason, however, and also required Tommy John surgery on his right elbow before he was able to make it back to the field.
Those injuries cost Baldelli the entirety of the 2005 season, but he returned looking none the worse for the wear in 2006 when he batted .302/.339/.533 in 92 games. But Baldelli’s career took a mysterious downturn the following season, and doctors initially diagnosed him with a rare mitochondrial deficiency and, eventually, a condition called channelopathy. In essence, his body was not metabolically capable of producing the energy necessary for his muscles to recover from the rigors of playing baseball at a professional level. Although he managed a few brief returns to the field, Baldelli made just 429 career plate appearances following that brilliant 2007 return effort. He played his final game in the Majors at just 29 years of age.
Baldelli will come to the Twins from one of the most progressive organizations in baseball. While manager Paul Molitor was more than open to data and modern baseball strategies — evidenced by the Twins’ aggressive shifting in his tenure and usage of “the opener” in 2018 — Baldelli has spent the past seven years immersed in an analytic-based culture with the Rays. At 37 and only eight years removed from serving as a player, he’ll likely be touted as a candidate more capable of connecting with younger players while also possessing a more natural comfort level with the data-driven decisions that increasingly permeate today’s game.
It’s a radical shift for a Twins organization that has previously opted to hire from within the organization. Minnesota has long been among the most loyal organizations in baseball, perhaps to a fault at times, as evidenced by the fact that Baldelli will incredibly be just the fourth Twins manager in the past three decades. Tom Kelly was hired by Minnesota in 1986 and held that role until being succeeded by one of his coaches, Ron Gardenhire, in 2001. Gardenhire, in turn, held onto the Twins’ managerial post until 2014 and was replaced by Molitor, who’d served on his own coaching staff.
The Pohlad family, who owns the Twins, has a reputation for maintaining the status quo, but Jim Pohlad has shown more of a willingness to shuffle the deck following the passing of his father, Carl, in 2009. Pohlad dismissed both Gardenhire and longtime GM Terry Ryan amid a prolonged run at the bottom of the AL Central earlier this decade and has since hired chief baseball officer Derek Falvey away from the Indians and general manager Thad Levine away from the Rangers in an effort to overhaul and modernize what was perceived as one of the game’s most “old school” organizations. Hiring the 37-year-old Baldelli is the next step in that effort.
Coaching changes figure to follow, and there’s significant work for Falvey and Levine to do on the roster following a disappointing 2018 season. But Falvey and Levine look to have settled on the voice they hope can lead the organization back to prominence in a weak American League Central division that features multiple rebuilding clubs.
I’ve always rooted for Baldelli. Hope he does well as a Manager.
I really like baldelli. I think he’ll do a great job with the twins
Baldelli was then injured on his way to the podium for the press conference.
“…doctors initially diagnosed him with a rare mitochondrial deficiency and, eventually, a condition called channelopathy. ”
He has a disease. It, not injuries, kept him from playing. He didn’t have a choice.
A choice, you know, like what people have who choose to make fun of people who have a disease.
I’m calm, thanks for the concern.
Just tired of people who think a disability or serious disease is joke fodder. And tired of those who defend such jack*sses — or disparage those who point it out.
What’s next? Lou Gehrig jokes? Walter Payton jokes?
Seriously, settle down. And consider developing a sense of humor
Sad when you consider making fun of someone with a disease a sense of humor. Hope you never get one.
His career injury plagued before being diagnosed with the condition, though he seemed to capably return from said injuries mentioned in the article before the diagnosis. I don’t think anybody here Was disrespecting the man because he has a muscle condition – just a light joke about an injury-riddled career. Relax, take a deep breath, and read into the context of the comment before making radical assumptions.
It is serious. My sister has the same disease and spends a lot of her time in a wheel chair.
Rocco….good Polish name
Love my Rays
Rocco is awesome and the Twins are fortunate to have him. Great person and personality! Rays Fans everywhere will miss him dearly. Wish him the best!
I thought teams were not allowed to make these types of announcements during the World Series.
I believe they are encouraged to announce them on off days, which today is.
Because MLB doesn’t want anything overshadowing the world series.
Like just a about anything?
It is frowned on, but there are typically a few GM and/or managerial openings every year, so announcements on off-days/travel days like today are pretty common.
All of the major sports discourage teams from making these types of announcements during whatever championship week it is, to varying degrees, but there aren’t any rules against it. I wonder if the Twins felt that they had to hire Baldelli now or risk having another team take him first… I don’t recall, did Baldelli get interviewed for any of the other managerial openings.
it’s just called an “unwritten rule”. there are tons of these so called “unwritten rules” that someone should write a book on them.
I don’t think that most teams would want a manager who they couldn’t trust not to renege on a verbal agreement and jump ship to another organization right off the bat
No but they would risk someone else stealing their thunder and making the announcement for them.
It’s not an official rule. They are allowed, just discouraged from doing so. And mainly, the “guideline” is aimed at marquee announcements that will create controversy and distraction… ie: MLB is trying to avoid the SF Giants announcing a Barry Bonds hire in the middle of the World Series. No one is going to be distracted by the Twins hiring Baldelli
Teams can make any announcement they like. There is no “not allowed”.
they don’t want announcements that will over shadow the WS, like Theo Epstein announcing he’s leaving the Cubs to run the Mets. this is ok
He was a decent player in MVP Baseball 2005
You could run an entire team with Baldelli, Carl Crawford, and Scott Kazmir. Fun times.
I like this hire much better than the previous 2 this off season.
Thought it was Rocco Siffredi
Proponent of the backdoor slider
You have to Google the guys name to get the full effect
I just hope someone hires Hensley Meulens so he isn’t an option for the Giants next year when Bochy is done.
What makes you think he’d be a bad manager? Every game Bochy gets thrown out of he does a good job.
I mean, as a hitting coach he was terrible but I think he’d make a fine manager.
This is a really interesting hire. He’s young-ish for the job, he has no managerial experience, but Baldelli is obviously well regarded in baseball circles judging by the level of interest in him this offseason. I’m looking forward to seeing how Rocco does in Minnesota, and I hope he does well.
Cool. I was kind of hoping he’d get it.
The Twins generally make good decisions and Rocco Baldelli was on many teams “list”. I’m glad to see they’re “thinking outside the box” Good luck all the way around.
When Baldelli came up with Tampa, he was something to watch. He was lightning fast. He was THE future star to watch. What could’ve been.
Is it really “outside the box” if many other teams were thinking the exact same way?
Why not just hire player-managers?
The bench coach can read the daily statistics along with front office people that change the roster 5 times a week, set the starting pitchers, and have the bench coach tell the manager which relief pitcher to bring in depending on the inning and the batter(s) coming up.
For the past 30 years, the level of fundamental play has gotten systematically more atrocious with most teams. Most players come out of the minors unprepared to play at the major league level – like NBA kids out of high school. Moves like this one continue to assure that quality minor league Instructors / Coaches / Managers realize that they cannot move up to major league positions, so it’s best to find a steady position at a college, private school, or high school. Thereby continuing the trend of incomplete minor league instruction forcing major league teams to develop their players at the highest level, assuring that – along with never-ending expansion – sub-standard baseball will continue to be played by at least 2/3’rds of the teams.
Player-managers are not allowed anymore.., Though I dont particularly remember why
I couldn’t find anything to confirm that… Do you happen to have a link?
I’m not sure that is correct Reflect. Larkin was considered as a player-manager as was Konerko just a handful of years ago. There is nothing in the CBA that I have found. I haven’t checked the MLB Constitution yet
My mistake, I take this back. I was mistaken and had my sports mixed up.. Player-managers were banned in the NBA, not the MLB.
Thanks for the update!
Or, to sum up this post, “old man yells at clouds.”
I think he’s just gritty.
‘grinder’, I think, is the preferred term
It’s an outrage, I say, an outrage
These teams want puppets in the dugout, that’s why they’ll hire young managers with zero experience.
I completely agree the quality of the game has deteriorated the last 10 years or so. Between the lack of talent and this sabr rubbish, the game has become extremely boring.
No contact, 12 pitching changes per game,players out of position due to shifts, etc. Sad state of affairs.
While I don’t agree with your first paragraph, I do strongly agree with the next two.
Except those teams win the most and the two biggest proponents of that style of baseball are playing in the World Series.
Yeah, the moves Roberts made according to the sabr gods – and the new defensive positioning cards given to the OF during the pitching change of Ryu – really worked out perfectly for them. Lol Keep praying at the altar of algebraic equations, it’s all you know.
One example of poor decision making does not discredit a system that’s produced multiple championship teams in the last decade
Math isn’t as scary as it seems, just requires a bit of effort on your part…
Math is for physics and engineering, not managing living and breathing human beings
Many companies manage our jobs with mathematics. It’s just part of life.
I don’t think you know the big difference between what sabermetrics are, and what SABR is and does. Makes your argument even more inept.
Ok, Einstein. I won’t comment any more, I’ll just agree with everything you post. Lol
You are citing mistakes that Roberts has made in the World Series, thus proving davidcoonce74’s point
Boston’s analytics department dwarfs L A.’s. And arguing against a way of doing things because of a single bad outcome is pretty silly. Bunts sometimes don’t work either.
Hey, just admit you’re out of your league in this case, and all is okay.
Managing people without paying attention to proven trends in the outcome of predictable behavior by other human beings is what’s known as bad management.
Humans are actually pretty predictable in groups, so pretending like there’s some art to it is silly.
Boston is not a swing and miss team by any definition. Dombrowski acquires players who can HIT. It’s what he did in Detroit, and Boston was littered with his type of player upon arrival, which he has added to. Rob Deer/Joey Gallo types don’t last on DD’s roster. He values average, a term that too many teams, and posters here, have devalued.
Omg, you are going to be attacked for saying average is important! I agree, totally.
All these sabr apologists think drawing walks is more important than being able to compile base hits. Being able to put the bat on the ball is what makes the Red Sox so tough.
You can’t get thrown out or have another baserunner thrown out on a walk
Why that’s a good thing should be readily obvious to anyone who’s actually put any thought into it.
But this is really about you being left behind by modern baseball thinking and not liking it than it is about which stats are better
I mean, batting average is a stat, so you railing against one stat in favor of another while decrying the use of statistics at all is just embarrassing…
Uhhhhh clearly you haven’t been watching the Red Sox, who don’t strike out, make a ton of contact, are aggressive on the bases and are hitting over.420 with RISP. And they’re pitchers have been going deeper than their opponents, not exactly deep into games but you rarely see 6 innings in the WS anymore.
The teams with the three lowest strikeout teams in baseball this year are all teams that rely heavily on analytics: Cleveland, Houston and Boston. Let’s take this further for the two posters here who use every post to decry “analytics” and “sabermetrics,” or even SABR, which is an organization that mostly does historic research. Anyway….
The teams in baseball with the largest, and most developed analytics departments: Oakland, Boston, LA, Tampa Bay, Yankees, Cleveland, Milwaukee.
The teams with the least developed/smallest analytics departments: Baltimore, Miami, Detroit, ST. Louis, Cincinnati, Anaheim, San Francisco, Kansas City, Mets.
SF and St. Louis have made strides in this area over the last couple seasons.; San Diego and Atlanta have also been hiring lots of smart people from the analytics community in the last couple years.
You can say whatever you want about the demise of the starting pitcher or too many walks or too many strikeouts (although the teams that strike out the least are the most analytically-inclined teams) or low batting averages, etc….but the point is, this stuff works to win games. It always has, even before there was a word to describe it. Teams were shifting in the 1870s. Branch Rickey understood the importance of getting on base. Earl Weaver absolutely understood that getting on base and hitting for power created runs.
And every other sport uses analytics heavily, most notably the NFL, in which almost all the plays are called by coaches sitting in a booth above the field of play. It doesn’t make the sport worse; more information is always better.
Lack of talent? Dead set the stupidest comment on here today.
Your points are well taken, except perhaps expansion, which is coming, like it or not.
And let’s give the Rays some credit. They realized that much of what you say is true, and it was Rocco’s job to basically fill in the gaps for instruction. Rays fans saw Mallex Smith turn from the easily the most idiotic outfielder in MLB into someone who actually became a plus by the end of the year. Maybe he grew up; maybe it was the instruction; who knows? But you have to think Rocco had something to do with it.
I keep going back to Houston’s GM, when he signed Josh Reddick. He said he felt the team needed a “fundamental” type player to add to the mix, and everybody knew Reddick is probably the most fundamentally sound player around. And the rise of the Red Sox certainly plays into this; in general, the Sox don’t do a lot of dumb things; their OFers almost always throw to the right base, e.g. Other teams? It’s an adventure.
We’ve gotten to the point because of stat obsession that we’ve forgotten that the difference between a single and double is often whether it’s hit to a lazy or poorly trained OFer, or a sound one.
“except perhaps expansion, which is coming, like it or not.” Yea that’s gonna help
Basically because having to split your time between two jobs makes you worse at either then two people who can focus on a single job
So it’s just all around better to split the duties, which is why coaching staffs and front offices seem to have exploded in size in recent years, so more people can be more specialized
You could have a player/manager, there’s just a lot of potential drawbacks to it, which is why it’s fallen by the wayside
I remember this guy, he’s a great person and his career-ending illness was very unfortunate. I’m sad he’s leaving the Rays but I’m glad he’s at least finding success in his non-player career.
I am hoping that the day-to-day grind of managing won’t take a toll on him.
congratulations to this fella
Easy to like Rocco. I’m guessing that he’ll be a Kevin Cash like manager. A nice guy who still manages to maintain his players respect.
To anyone not “in love” with this choice, TOUGH ROCCOS.
Well we have covered all the bases now… The next move is the one we really need, NEW OWNERSHIP !
The Poor Lads have kept this team down long enough
Not true at all. They’ve opened the purse strings and have done everything they said they would do once Target Field opened up. Completely reshaped the front office. The failures of late rest solely on Falvey and Levine. They blamed Molitor for that but now it’s up to them. There’s been so many changes in the last 3 or 4 years that were brought about by ownership. These aren’t Carl and Eloise’s Twins anymore.
I’m pretty sure this entire statement is inaccurate.
It’s way too early to judge the Falvey/Levine front office. Yes, their FA acquisitions from last year didn’t work out, but pretty much everyone thought they were decent moves at the time.
It’ll take probably five years for them to really put their stamp on the organization, which needed to be modernized from the ground up.
^^ This! They’ve certainly not had that much impact on the players in the minors yet. Many of the players available to promote to The Show are around from the old front office.
I gave you a thumbs up before I read your post because you have a “Far Side” cow as your avatar, which put a smile on my face.
Do you know anything about Twins baseball?
Maybe Baldelli and the front office mathletes can sit their best players if they ever get back to the WS, like Roberts was instructed to do in Boston last night. Lol.
13 of the 14 position players that Los Angeles is carrying in the series played last night…
Ok, let me spell it out for you since comprehension doesn’t seem to be your thing.
Roberts. Sat. His. Best. Players. To. Start. The. Game. Most. Likely. Because. That. Is. What. The. 6. Former. Sabermetrically. Slanted. Gms. In. The. Front. Office. Told. Him. To. Do.
Roberts is nothing but a clueless marionette, slave to sabermetrics like most of the commenters on this site. Difference is, Roberts played the game, he should know better.
I don’t often bite into this garbage, but I have to ask – what is it like to have something consuming you so badly, that every day is driven by your hatred for it?
Progressive baseball has literally set up camp inside your head and living rent free. You’re obsessed, and it’s weak.
Get a hobby, go outside and get some sun – do something.
” has literally set up camp inside your head and is living rent free “. Wow, what an original line. Probably heard it from Jim Rome.
If I feel like commenting on a subject, I will do so. Really don’t give a f**k what you think.
If you truly think sabermetrics has improved the game, you must be 18 years old. The game is dreadful to watch these days. It’s basically BB, K or walk.
My posts are well thought out and written. Just because you don’t agree with me doesn’t mean you’re right. You’re just a parrot like most others on this site.
Don’t like what I post, don’t read it. Is that too complicated for you? So is making ice, I’m sure.
“BB, strikeout or walk.” That’s funny. I think you meant something other than that.
The three teams with the lowest strikeout rate in baseball in 2018: Cleveland, Houston and Boston. The three teams with the biggest analytics departments in baseball include Cleveland, Houston and Boston. Boston had the best defensive outfield in baseball, by far. They had the best baserunning team in baseball. Yeah, they didn’t bunt. They didn’t “hit-and-run” as much as you’d like. They understand that the only fixed point in baseball is outs, and you only get 27 of them in a game. All of the best teams in baseball are driven by a strong analytics department. That isn’t hyperbole.
And yes, you are obsessed with this. I don’t understand why people hate information but I know it happens and it’s just sort of baffling to me to see in action.
Keep trying; you’ll make a worthwhile, or even an accurate, observation one of these days.
Today isn’t that day…..
Wow, didn’t know lester here was the official grade keeper on this site. It’s ok, I’ve forgotten more knowledge of baseball than you can even scrounge in your pea brain.
Now, go to whatever sabr site you reference and get prepared for your Strat-O-Matic tournament pitting the 1975 Reds vs the 1927 Yankees.
Not keeping score, just observing that you haven’t made a valid point in any of your multiple posts.
It doesn’t take much effort to actually look up what SABR is, or what sabermetrics are, unless you’re too busy attacking other commenters or saying “whatever”.
I knew an ad hominem attack was coming. It’s the mark of those who know they are wrong but don’t have the cojones to admit it.
Keep digging, southpaw. China ain’t far, and maybe you can impress them with your vast knowledge.
You’ve brought nothing to the table, other than telling me to look up sabermetrics. Wow, what a brilliant person I’ve been blessed to find on this site.
The only thing good sabermetrics has done for the game is to evaluate the worth of players. Especially since the Cubs got raped on that Heyward contract. Good call by Theo’s Ivy league employees claiming Heyward was worth almost $200 million because he’s a good defensive player. Lol
Dude, seriously – avoid the use of the word “raped” to describe something as meaningless as a baseball contract. Seriously. Rape is a horrific crime that destroys people’s lives. Please, don’t ever use that word again for something so trivial.
This guy has been cracking me up. I always find it amusing to see people hate on Sabermetrics when there is so much clear evidence of its benefits, yet they refuse to believe it.
It’s like people who still believe the Earth is flat an refuse to change their minds.
Yes; the teams with the huge analytics departments: Boston, Houston, LA, Oakland, Tampa Bay, Milwaukee, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland. Those teams are terrible, right?
The teams with the worst/ smallest analytics departments: KC, Miami, Cincinnati, SF, St. Louis, Anaheim, Baltimore.
I sense some sort of pattern…..
The sad part about this is you don’t seem to realize that no matter what happens, the winner of this year’s world series will be a pack of ‘nerds’
Cora’s as analytically minded as any manager in the game. But sure, keep pretending it’s a fad…
Oh, so the only teams in MLB that are using sabermetrics are the Dodgers and Red Sox? Lol.
Listen up, everybody, petrie dish is predicting nothing but L.A. – Boston World Series matchups for the foreseeable future, you know, until the rest of the league catches on! Lolol
I really like the Padres fan making a comment. They’ve been terrible forever, even though they supposedly have one of these new, young, ” genius ” GMs.
Reading before responding would result in less people mocking you.
Heck, if you bothered to read at all you’d be much better off.
But reading is probably one of those intellectual pursuits that has no place in baseball…
Pitches Love Velocity
Rocco’s modern life
Don’t you know when a manager is hired you have to get a good shot of him looking stern and looking out over a baseball field?
Great to see Rocco getting a chance! Best of luck.
Now the managers are younger than me. C’est la vie.
Welcome to the absurd world of “getting old!”
Tom Kelly was 36 when hired as Manager by the Twins in 1986.
Does anyone know if Baldelli speaks Spanish? The Twins employed 15 Spanish-speaking players throughout the 2018 season. Being able to communicate with them personally would seem to be very important.
Who would downvote a practical question like this?
Great hire…this is the new trend in baseball plus he has high level playing experience
Yo..Adrian, I was tinkin… I could do a little managing just like Micky..
Love it! Wishing Rocco all the best! Hope he becomes a great manager
I say this without a trace of sarcasm, this could be one of the better moves this offseason. I think Baldelli could be a very talented manager.
So do I