Twins GM on manager Ron Gardenhire: “He’ll be back”

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Researching managerial numbers can be a little tricky, but as far as I can tell the only manager since 1960 to have four consecutive 90-loss seasons and keep his job is Tom Kelly of the Twins in the 1990s.

And now the guy who replaced him as Twins manager, Ron Gardenhire, may be joining him on that exclusive list.

Minnesota has lost 95-plus games in three straight seasons and the Twins are on pace to lose 90 this year, but general manager Terry Ryan indicated to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Gardenhire will be back in 2015.

Here’s the exchange between Hartman and Ryan:

What about Gardenhire?

“Same stuff. He is signed for next year, so you don’t have to worry about him.”

He’ll be back?

“Yeah, yeah, I would say he’ll be back,” Ryan said.

Does Ryan think Gardenhire has done a good job this season with a struggling Twins club?

“We can all do better,” Ryan said. “We’re not where we need to be. We can all do a better job. He has to, I have to, as an organization, we all have to. We’re just not playing up to what we’re wishing we were, consequently we’re not playing games that mean much in September.”

Ryan is the same GM who kept Kelly around and the Twins are known for their incredible loyalty, for better or worse, so it certainly shouldn’t shock anyone in Minnesota if Gardenhire sticks around.

Still, if the Twins retain two managers following four consecutive 90-loss seasons and the other 29 teams have done the same a combined zero times in 50-plus years … well, plenty of Twins fans won’t be very happy and it’ll be hard to blame them.

Cardinals move Luke Weaver to the bullpen

Luke Weaver
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Cardinals right-hander Luke Weaver has been reassigned to the bullpen, manager Mike Shildt announced Sunday. Fellow righty Daniel Poncedeleon will take his spot in the rotation for the time being, though it’s still unclear whether Weaver’s demotion is a permanent one or not.

Still, it’s not the most surprising of moves, especially as the club advances toward a potential playoff berth in October. Weaver, 24, has struggled to find his groove this season after putting up a 6-11 record in 24 starts and a 4.67 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2018. During two of his last three outings in August, he was pulled before the fifth inning, citing mechanical issues with his delivery that may be impacting his fastball location and delivery and having an adverse effect on his results — and those of the team — as well.

Poncedeleon, on the other hand, appears primed to take on more responsibility following an impressive run with the Cardinals this summer. He maintained a sub-3.00 ERA through his first six appearances, issuing four runs, nine walks, and 10 strikeouts over 17 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t handled more than one start in the big leagues, his track record in the minors speaks to his ability to get consistent results on the mound: he went 9-3 in 17 starts at Triple-A Memphis with a 2.15 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 10.1 SO/9 across 92 innings. He’s scheduled to cover for Weaver on Tuesday against the Pirates and will presumably continue to pitch out of the rotation for the remaining six weeks of the season.