The Minnesota Twins announced the hiring of Hall of Famer and St. Paul native Paul Molitor as a member of the big league coaching staff.
Multiple rumors have placed Molitor in line to be Ron Gardenhire’s successor as the Twins’ manager – but since Gardenhire received a two-year extension after the conclusion of the season – Molitor will oversee baserunning, bunting, infield instruction and positioning and also assist with the team’s in-game strategy.
Molitor worked as the Seattle Mariners’ hitting coach in the past, and also coached with the Twins from 2000-2001.
He spent 18 of his 21 professional playing days with either the Twins (3 years) or the Brewers (15 years), managing a career average of .304 during his big league tenure. He also hit 234 home runs and 1,307 RBIs.
Minnesota finished at 66-96, but despite their poor performance, Gardenhire was extended for two seasons, in hopes of adding more big league talent to the roster. In 2013, the team was 27 games out of first in the American League Central at 66-96, which edged only the Chicago White Sox in the standings.
With a healthy Joe Mauer in tow, and an emerging All-Star closer in Glen Perkins, Minnesota will look to bounce back in 2014, under the assisted guidance of Molitor, who could very well be training to succeed Gardenhire in 2016.