In what is a surprising turn of events, the Minnesota Twins announced Tuesday that Paul Molitor will not be returning as manager for next season. Minnesota finished the season 78-84 and out of the playoffs after appearing in the AL Wild Card Game in 2017. Molitor was the manager during Minnesota’s 103-loss 2016 campaign, but he did have two seasons above .500 with the team.
From the outside, it appeared the Twins sustained too many injuries to remain competitive in a year that saw both AL Wild Card teams win over 95 games. However, management determined it was time for a chance. The Twins shared the news on Twitter while also indicating Molitor has been offered an opportunity to remain with the franchise in a different capacity. He is considering the offer.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) October 2, 2018
Paul Molitor will not return as manager for the Minnesota Twins
Molitor took over for Minnesota in 2015 and produced 83 wins in his first season. After four consecutive losing seasons, finishing above .500 was regarded as a big win while offering expectations for the future. Unfortunately, the Twins never got going in 2016, finishing with a record of 59-103. A disastrous rotation was the biggest culprit as Minnesota finished last in the American League with a 5.08 ERA.
Following the letdown in 2016, no one expected much from the Twins in 2017. But led by veterans Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier, along with the budding Miguel Sano, Minnesota won 85 games before losing to the New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game.
The Twins never seemed to get a solid footing in 2018 and were forced to play catch up all season long. Byron Buxton and Jason Castro were heavily limited due to injuries. Sano began the year in an unbelievably dark slump and dealt with a demotion as a result. Thanks to durable starters in Kyle Gibson, Jose Berrios, and Jake Odorizzi, the Twins were competitive at times this season. Unfortunately, they could not keep pace in a scorching hot AL playoff race. Whether or not that blame should be placed on the manager is up for debate. However, Minnesota is moving on and will replace Molitor heading into 2019.
Main Photo: MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 03: Manger Paul Molitor #4 of the Minnesota Twins looks on during the game against the Kansas City Royals on September 3, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Royals defeated the Twins 5-4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)