The Minnesota Twins will bring back Rocco Baldelli for next year. President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey confirmed that Baldelli is set to return for his fifth season as the skipper. Falvey also mentioned that Baldelli would be staying on past the 2023 season. The announcement is not a popular move with the fans who are asking why he was extended. Their frustration has been at an all-time high since he became Manager in 2019. Even with all the injuries to both pitching and everyday players, Baldelli is being blamed for the collapse of this team in the second half of this season.
Rocco Baldelli’s Tenure With Minnesota
Baldelli has been successful since his arrival. In his first season in 2019, the Twins won 101 games and the AL Central. That was the most wins since the 1965 season. Also, the team set the single-season record with 307 home runs, and he won the AL Manager of the year. In the shortened 2020 season, they won their second consecutive AL Central title.
The Twins Reloaded for 2022
They took a step back last season when they started off April very slowly. They never recovered and only won 73 games. With that awful season, the Twins reloaded with an aggressive offseason. They surprised everyone by signing Carlos Correa to an opt-out, loaded, three-year deal during Spring Training.
They also acquired Sonny Gray and Chris Paddack in March trades, then added Chris Archer and Dylan Bundy to the starting rotation. That aggressiveness paid off early on, with the division lead. They held first place for 92 days.
Then, at the trade deadline looking to bolster their pitching staff and keep their lead, they brought in Jorge López and Tyler Mahle. However, the roster overhaul wasn’t enough for the organization to overcome a brutal stretch of late-season injuries. Eventually, all those injuries to pitchers and everyday players caught up to this team, leading to a terrible September. The team fell out of first place and eventually out of the Wild Card race.
A Great Communicator
As knowledgeable a baseball man as he is, Rocco Baldelli’s greatest strength might be as a communicator with both his veteran and younger players. The players enjoy that he is bright, sharp and confident. He does a good job combining that. He also believes that the most important thing is to give his players a voice and provide an atmosphere where the players feel comfortable talking about any topic.
Baldelli assesses everything about the game. He is always trying to figure out all the things he could have done differently to improve himself and his coaches, anything that will bring out the best in his players.
Another Reason for His Return
The Minnesota Twins bring back Rocco Baldelli, and another reason for this is they have player evaluations. The teams need to decide who to bring back and what they need to do for trades and free agency. Baldelli is excellent at evaluating talent and analytics. Being a former player, a front office official, a coach, followed by a manager, he has seen it all and from all sides. He knows what type of players he wants on his team.
The Minnesota Twins bring back Rocco Baldelli, which could help Carlos Correa’s decision to stay in Minnesota. Correa signed a three-year $35 million deal, though he can opt out after this season. He is expected to do that, but with Baldelli’s return, he might decide to stay. Correa has brought leadership and has mentioned he likes the fans and his relationship with Baldelli. The Twins—and we—will have to wait to see what he’ll do.
Another Active Off-Season
Minnesota figures to be in for another active offseason as they look to get back on track. If Correa departs, the Twins must decide how to proceed at shortstop. Minnesota should rebuild its bullpen while looking for outfield help. Archer and Michael Fulmer will likely elect free agency. Even so, catcher Gary Sánchez may also test the open market. Finally, decisions need to be made regarding fan favorite Miguel Sanó and pitcher Dylan Bundy.
Baldelli Is A Part of the Future
Rocco Baldelli is a big part of the Twins’ Future—most likely just not next year but beyond. It is evident that he gets along with his players and has their respect. He understands the game and its analytics from positions of player and coach through front-office management and team management. Both those realities were integral in the Twins’ decision to retain him as their Manager. Let’s see what he does in the off-season and where this team is when Spring Training rolls around.