Baldelli ‘big part of our future’ Twins boss Falvey says

Star Tribune/Star Tribune/TNS
·2 min read

Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey shut down any speculation about manager Rocco Baldelli's job security Friday.

The Twins will almost surely miss the playoffs this season. They're 73-77, sitting 10 games out in the American League Central and 9 1⁄2 out of the Wild Card race with 12 games to play, including Friday night against the Angels at Target Field. And while this would be the second-consecutive season with no postseason appearance, Baldelli is set to manage for a fifth season in 2023.

"Rocco's our manager. He's my partner in this all the way through. That's never even crossed my mind, quite frankly," Falvey said. "... Rocco's a big part of our future. Not just next year, but beyond."

Falvey acknowledged the team is "not playing as well" as anyone would want, so questions about staff changes are natural. But in assessing what has gone wrong — a conversation that has included Baldelli — coaching didn't seem to be the root of the problem.

In Baldelli's four seasons with the Twins, his most successful ones were his first two: the 101-victory 2019 season and the pandemic-shortened 2020 season with a .600 winning percentage at 36-24.

Baldelli, who turns 41 on Sunday, took a 283-251 managerial record (.530 winning percentage) into this weekend's series. In two postseason appearances under Baldelli, the Twins are 0-5. Three of those playoff losses came against the Yankees, a team that owns a 15-5 record against Baldelli's Twins in the regular season.

Falvey said while injuries are not a "singular excuse" for this year's woes, they are a reason why the Twins have faltered in the last month of the season. They are missing such big names as Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler.

"There's lots of areas we could be better. And ultimately, if we're not getting to the end of the season thinking about how we can be better the next year, they probably should decide someone else should be doing these jobs at that point," Falvey said. "That's our job. And so Rocco feels the same way I do. We're trying to think about ways to get ourselves better."