Twins hitting coach Edgar Varela and Major League field coordinator Kevin Morgan won’t be turning to the coaching staff next season, as the club announced that two were reassigned to player development roles. With the bench coach position also open and veteran coach Bill Evers retiring, Minnesota now has four vacancies to fill on Rocco Baldelli’s staff for 2022.
Varela has been with the Twins for four seasons, serving as the hitting coach for the last two years. Offense was the least of the team’s concerns when the “Bomba Squad” put up big numbers in 2020, but even that lineup was a little one-dimensional and too focused on power, and a lack of consistent production in 2021 was one of the many reasons the Twins fell to last place in the AL Central.
While Minnesota batters still finished fifth in home runs, the Twins were closer to the middle of the pack in most other offensive categories. In fairness to Varela, the Twins’ statistics surely would’ve been more impressive if several regulars (i.e. Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Mitch Garver) hadn’t missed a lot of time on the injured list, and if slugger Nelson Cruz hadn’t been dealt to the Rays.
Still, the Twins clearly felt some new voices were necessary, leading to both Varela and Morgan departing the staff. Morgan just finished his first year in the field coordinator role, as he was moved up to the MLB coaching staff to help fill the void left when former bench coach Mike Bell passed away last March.
Earlier this week, The Athletic’s Dan Hayes wrote about how the Twins were looking to expand their coaching staff in terms of overall positions (from 10 coaches up to as many as 14), though potentially with some names being reassigned elsewhere. The expectation is that Minnesota’s next bench coach will come from outside the organization, and the team might also look to add another pitching coach with big league experience.