Twins bullpen coach Bob McClure and Major League coach Bill Evers will be sidelined for the 2020 season due to health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. It’s the team’s decision and came after physical exams that factored both age and preexisting conditions into consideration, per Neal. Both the 68-year-old McClure and the 66-year-old Evers will still be paid. The Twins have since confirmed the pair’s omission from the coaching staff. McClure and Evers could contribute in other ways, taking on advisory roles in the front office, according to Neal.
This would’ve been the first season for McClure with the Twins. Minnesota lost bullpen coach Jeremy Hefner to the Mets over the winter and named McClure, a former pitching coach with the Phillies, Red Sox, Royals and Marlins, as his successor. McClure had previously worked as a senior advisor with the Twins, focusing on pitching development, so it sounds as though he may instead handle a role more similar to the one he filled over the past two years.
Neal wrote this morning that minor league pitching coordinator Pete Maki was “in line” to replace McClure as the bullpen coach for the 2020 season, and he has now indeed been announced in that role. Minnesota hired Maki prior to the 2018 season after he’d spent a decade in the college coaching ranks — including stops as pitching coach at Columbia and Duke.
Evers was returning to the Twins’ staff for a second season. It’s no surprise that he joined the ranks alongside manager Rocco Baldelli, as the pair has a long history together in the Rays organization. Evers was Baldelli’s bench coach back in 2006-07, and he spent nine years as the Rays’ minor league field coordinator while Baldelli was rising through the coaching ranks in Tampa Bay. There’s no direct replacement for Evers listed, although the Twins’ coaching staff does now list 21-year MLB veteran LaTroy Hawkins as a special instructor. He’d previously been working as an advisor to the front office under president of baseball ops Derek Falvey and GM Thad Levine.