The Minnesota Twins had to make a decision on the future of manager Paul Molitor and chose to give him a well-deserved extension.
The Minnesota Twins announced they signed head coach Paul Molitor to a three-year extension following a historic third season with the club. In fact, Molitor led Minnesota to the playoffs despite losing more than 100 games the year before, the first time it’s ever been done in MLB history.
There’s no doubt that Molitor earned his extension by delivering a fantastic 2016-17 season. Heading into the year, new Minnesota Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said that the long-term future of the manager position would be settled after the season. In other words, he was going to let the season play out and likely hire a manager of his choosing during the 2017 offseason.
Molitor and the Twins had different ideas though. The third-year manager led his club to a wild-card berth with an 85-77 finish, although they would fall to the New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game. Nevertheless, the fact Minnesota made a playoff appearance for the first time since 2010 was an amazing feat in itself.
Over the course of Molitor’s third season, he was a constant for the Twins, always showing a calm, level-headed demeanor. After losing six of seven games prior to the July 31 trade deadline, he was able to get the Twins back on track even after management traded away closer Brandon Kintzler and starting pitcher Jaime Garcia as a result.
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Specifically, the Twins bounced back to go 20-10 in August which helped catapult them back into playoff contention. This was with the likes of Kyle Gibson, Adalberto Mejia, Bartolo Colón in the starting rotation, along with a young bullpen featuring veteran Matt Belisle as closer. Even so, they played with confidence and belief until the end of the season, resulting in a playoff berth.
Undoubtedly, Molitor played a huge part in that and players have largely advocated for their skipper to stick around. There’s plenty to build on given the development of young players like Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, and Jose Berríos. With the extension, Molitor and the coaching staff have the chance to develop the roster into a perennial playoff team.
While this is a great start to the offseason, there’s still plenty to take care of. In particular, the Twins need to add a couple effective arms to their rotation and bullpen. Also, they need to get All-Star third baseman Miguel Sano completely healthy after missing much of the season.
That being said, Twins fans should feel great about having Molitor in the dugout for another three seasons. Let’s hope this season was just the start of something great under the Twins skipper!