Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson hired as LSU pitching coach

Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson hired as LSU pitching coach

11:03 p.m.: Johnson will receive an annual salary of $750,000 from LSU, report Gleeman and Hayes, a major increase from the roughly $350,000 a year the coach received from the Twins. Johnson will indeed leave for LSU when the Twins’ Cleveland series ends on Thursday.

7:17 p.m.: Maki will be promoted to become the Twins’ new pitching coach, report Gleeman and Hayes (by Twitter). Also from Hayes, discussions between the Twins and Johnson were more about “what could do [the] more attractive job” to Johnson, and he did not ask the club for more money. LSU, meanwhile, has been “very aggressive” in recruiting Johnson.

6:30 p.m.: In a surprise midseason move, Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson leaves the team to return to the college ranks, as D1 Baseball’s Kendall Rogers (Twitter link) reports that Johnson has been hired as LSU’s new pitching coach. Johnson is in his fourth season with the Twins but already has SEC ties — he worked as a pitching coach at Mississippi State and Arkansas before joining Minnesota in November 2018.

Johnson had never worked in professional baseball before being hired by the Twins, although several teams in recent years have hired coaches with more varied resumes than the usual background as a player, coach or manager at the baseball level. MLB or minor leagues. In this regard, Johnson was somewhat of a forerunner of this trend, as he was an early adopter of Trackman technology, even at the university level.

Since the start of the 2019 season, the Minnesota pitchers rank 10th in baseball in fWAR (46.8), which is a solid total even taking into account the injuries and performance slumps that plagued the Twins during of their disappointing 2021 campaign. The starting pitch was seen as a big question mark for the Twins heading into 2022, but the club have weathered another string of injuries to post solid to respectable numbers in several categories . Success stories include Chris Archerthe year of return, and rookie Joe Ryan off to a good start in his first full season in MLB.

Pitching was a reason behind the Twins’ 41-33 record and their rise to first place in the AL Central. With that in mind, it’s all the more unusual for Johnson to leave so abruptly – Athletic’s Dan Hayes reports that the Twins only learned of Johnson’s negotiations with LSU yesterday. With Minnesota about to begin an important five-game series against the Guardians, Aaron Gleeman of The Athletic adds that Johnson should stay with the Twins until the end of this series.

Presumably, assistant pitching coach Luis Ramirez or reliever coach Pete Maki are the most likely candidates to take on the role of Minnesota pitching coach at least on an interim basis. Given the sudden nature of Johnson’s departure, the Twins may be more inclined to wait until the end of the season to hire a permanent replacement.

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