Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Twins are interviewing Doug Mientkiewicz for their managerial opening after firing Ron Gardenhire earlier this week.
Mientkiewicz played for the Twins from 1998 to mid-2004, when he was traded to the Red Sox to clear a path for Justin Morneau in Minnesota and went on to win a World Series in Boston. He’s currently managing in the Twins’ farm system at high Single-A and made headlines in 2013 for starting a brawl by tackling the opposing manager.
Mientkiewicz retired in 2009 and is just 40 years old, but as more and more teams give big-league managing gigs to recently retired players with minimal experience he’s definitely a legitimate candidate. Minnesota interviewed Hall of Famer Paul Molitor yesterday and is also expected to interview Terry Steinbach to complete their in-house candidates list.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.