MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins hope to retain their entire coaching staff; they’re just not sure if that will be possible.
Seven different teams — the Pirates, Mets, Angels, Royals, Cubs, Giants and Padres — currently have managerial openings, and some coaches on manager Rocco Baldelli’s staff could be getting looks.
“We think extremely highly of that group of men. We also view that other people in the industry are probably taking better note of them as well,” general manager Thad Levine said. “As the offseason unfolds, we’ll be able to answer that question. But from our perspective, we’d like to have everybody back.”
Bench coach Derek Shelton, who interviewed for the Twins’ vacancy, among others, last season, figures to get some looks once again. His name has already been thrown out by national reporters as someone who will likely be considered for the Pirates’ opening.
Hitting coach James Rowson, who oversaw the top power-hitting team of all time in 2019, also interviewed for the Twins’ open position last offseason and could be considered elsewhere.
“I’ll just say we want what’s best for every single person here. We want what’s best for us, too,” Baldelli said. “But there’s a balance there, and you want people to also be open to exploring anything that they would want to — if that were the case. As of right now, we anticipate everyone being back and we’re excited.”
It’s no secret that a nagging thumb injury — labeled by the Twins as a bone bruise — hampered C.J. Cron for much of the season, limiting his ability at the plate.
The Twins put him on the IL twice, did a course of treatments and rested him frequently, but the injury was difficult for Cron to play through and the Twins are wasting no time getting it checked out again.
Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said Cron will get an outside opinion on the injury, adding, “There could be a potential for a procedure to help alleviate some of the stuff he’s been dealing with.”
Rest is the initial plan for outfielder Max Kepler, who missed much of September because of a rhomboid strain — although Falvey said that Kepler will see a specialist. Kepler played in the American League Division Series against New York but went 0 for 13 at the plate.
“The reality is that muscle strains take a while to heal, and they could ultimately take a couple of months to heal for certain types of muscle strains,” Falvey said. “We don’t believe there’s anything in there that’s problematic going forward. We believe rest is the best prescription here in the short term.”
As for fellow outfielder Byron Buxton, who had shoulder surgery in September, Falvey said everything has gone to plan so far. “It’s going to be a pretty significant rehab process; he knows that,” Falvey said.
The hope is that Buxton will be able to do baseball-oriented work by late January and be healthy for spring training. “Hopefully, we’re not behind when he shows up in Fort Myers,” Falvey said.
Top prospect Royce Lewis entered the day slashing .375/.426/.688 with three home runs and 18 hits in 12 games with the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League. Slowed early by an oblique injury, the shortstop, Falvey said, “is playing well now down the stretch … and getting some catch-up at-bats now at the backend.”