It's been a disappointing season for the Minnesota Twins, who led the AL Central for most of the summer before plummeting out of contention with their recent swoon. With just 11 games to play, the Twins now find themselves in third place at 73-78 after losing eight of their last nine games.
Despite Minnesota's late-season collapse, the team has no plans to change managers in 2023. The Twins announced on Saturday that they are bringing back Rocco Baldelli to manage again next season (and potentially beyond).
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Baldelli has managed the Twins since 2019, when he won AL Manager of the Year after leading them to 101 regular season wins and the playoffs. Minnesota returned to the postseason in 2020, but slipped to 73-89 last year and is in danger of finishing with a losing record again this year.
Despite the recent downturn in the team's fortunes, the team's front office believes Baldelli is still the man for the job. He kept the Twins in contention for much of the summer despite having an undermanned pitching staff until a recent slew of injuries finally did them in.
While it can be easy for teams to scapegoat managers when things go south, bad performance is often due to circumstances beyond their control like injuries and slumps. Minnesota's leadership appears to recognize this and is not overreacting by firing Baldelli after a bad (albeit ill-timed) stretch. He deserves another chance to prove he can guide a winning ball club, as he did during his first two seasons at the helm.
Baldelli and his players will try to finish 2022 on a high note before turning the page to 2023. With a productive offseason, the club could easily return to contention in a winnable division.