Posted by: gravessack | October 11, 2017

Molitor Rewarded With New Contract; Allen Dismissed

When the Twins season ended in defeat October 3 at the hands of the Yankees, speculation started to swirl every which way regarding the future of Paul Molitor. The manager had just guided the team to an 85-win season, making it to the post-season for the first time in years. There were a few thoughts that Molitor would be fired just because usually new general managers want to hire their own guy. A few days of negotiations went by with no news. And then…

On October 9, the Twins and GM Thad Levine announced that Molitor had been signed to a three-year contract reportedly worth only $4 million amazingly.Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor standing on dugout steps and looking out on to baseball field The St. Paul native was thrilled to have his contract extended and is excited for the future. Molitor took over in 2015 when then-GM Terry Ryan extinguished the contract of Ron Gardenhire. Molitor’s first year was a bit of a surprise, as he orchestrated a team who lost 90 games or more the previous four years to 83 wins. In 2016. the season fell apart for him, resulting in 103 losses and the firing of Ryan. Molitor knew that the Twins were better than that, which was proven this past year. When his first contract expired, the 61-year-old had a managerial record of 227-259.

Additionally, just hours after the extension was finalized, the Twins announced that they let go of pitching coach Neil Allen. Allen, who was brought on with Molitor, had a rocky three-year stint. In his first year with the club in 2015, Allen’s pitching staff had an ERA of 4.07 with 1,046 strikeouts. During the maddening 2016 season, the pitching staff performed poorly, ending with a 5.08 ERA. Also, in May 2016, he was arrested in Minneapolis for driving while intoxicated. Allen was suspended for over a month. He had a bounce back year in 2017, coaching his pitchers to a 4.59 ERA with 62 quality starts. Ultimately, that would not save Allen, as Levine and Molitor will be searching for a new pitching coach to help smooth out the pitching kinks.

The Twins nailed both decisions. Molitor deserved a new contract, despite some questionable decisions. A candidate for the AL Manager of the Year award, he should have a good line-up back in 2018, with hopefully added quality starting pitching. Molitor, and myself, thinks this team is on the cusp of something special. With a new pitching coach on board next season, they can tweak the pitching to accomplish more than expected.

Written by: Michael L. Sack

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