Twins suspend pitching coach Allen

Twins suspend pitching coach Allen

SEATTLE -- The Minnesota Twins announced Thursday that they have indefinitely suspended, with pay, pitching coach Neil Allen for his pending DWI charge.

"The matter will be handled in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club," the team said in a statement.

Twins manager Paul Molitor said prior to his team's Friday night series opener against the Mariners in Seattle that he hopes for the best for Allen while letting the proper protocol play out.

Eric Rasmussen, who will assume the role of pitching coach in the interim, is a former Major League pitcher who has spent the last eight-plus seasons as the organization's Minor League pitching coordinator.

"There's a lot of things that are swirling around, but my thoughts are about what we can do for him in the short term to support him," Molitor said of the Allen situation. "It's a brotherhood in here and I'm concerned about my friend."

Molitor said he spoke with Allen on Thursday and again on Friday.

"He's doing OK. Obviously, something like this probably shocked him as much as anybody, and we're just going to try to deal with the facts and the reality of what transpired, and we'll do what we need to do to address whatever sent him in that direction.

"And I hope we get him back soon, because I'm going to miss having him around. He's one of those people that I really look forward to seeing at work every day. The more I've gotten to know him, the more respect I have for him. He's very good at his job and he's a very good person. He's got a heart of gold. So it's just one of those sad things that happened yesterday."

Molitor said Rasmussen's familiarity with the organization was a determining factor in him being named as Allen's interim replacement.

"I've worked with Eric a lot during our time as Minor Leaguer roving instructors and I've been around him a ton, so the comfort level is there," Molitor said. "It's just going to be a matter of him being in that dugout and us opening up our dialogue throughout the game, making sure we're on the same page."

Gibson could be back soon: Right-handed starter Kyle Gibson, who's been on the 15- day disabled list since April 26 (retroactive to April 23) because of a right shoulder strain, pitched in Friday's game for Class A Advanced Fort Myers as part of his escalated rehab schedule.

Molitor said the goal for Friday was to have Gibson build up to "70, 75" pitches, and Gibson did exactly that, throwing 72 pitches in a five-inning stint that saw him give up one run on six hits while striking out six and not walking a batter.

"We'll have to determine if we're going to slot him back in [the big league rotation] or if he needs one more start," Molitor said.

Gibson, 28, was 0-3 with a 6.10 ERA in four starts prior to going on the DL.

Doug Miller is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.