ST PAUL, Minn. — The Twins have announced a familiar name will be at the helm of the club's new Triple-A ballclub in St. Paul this year.
It's Gardenhire... but not THAT Gardenhire.
Toby Gardenhire was confirmed Tuesday as the first manager for the 2021 St. Paul Saints, the Twins' top minor league affiliate. His father, of course, is Ron Gardenhire, a life-long baseball man who managed the big league Twins for 13 years starting in 2002.
Toby Gardenhire, 38, has spent his entire post-playing career in the Twins organization, starting out in 2016 down in the Gulf Coast League and moving his way up to Triple-A Rochester. Gardenhire was supposed to manage the Red Wings in 2020, but Major League Baseball (MLB) scrubbed the entire season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of managing in New York, Gardenhire worked with players at the Twins alternative site at CHS Field in St. Paul, where his relationships obviously took hold. He will work in an unusual situation, where developing players will be able to move quickly and continuously between the major league club and the Triple-A affiliate due to the fact the teams are a 15-minute Uber ride apart.
Before he became a Twins staffer Toby Gardenhire spent seven years as a player with the organization.
Gardenhire's 2021 Saints coaching staff was also announced Tuesday. It includes hitting coach Matt Borgschulte, pitching coaches Mike McCarthy and Cibney Bello, infield coach Tyler Smarslok, certified athletic trainer Jason Kirkman, and strength coach Jacob Dean.
The Saints season is set to begin in April. The game schedule, and the team's league affiliation will be announced in coming days.