Twins dismiss coaches Brunansky, Davis

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced changes to their coaching staff Tuesday night, as hitting coach Tom Brunansky and first-base coach Butch Davis will not return in 2017.

All other coaches will be back, including pitching coach Neil Allen, bullpen coach Eddie Guardado, bench coach Joe Vavra, third-base coach Gene Glynn and assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez.

Assistant general manager Rob Antony met individually with the coaches a day after the season ended to inform them that their statuses wouldn't be determined until after the new front office regime was hired. The Twins introduced chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine on Monday, and both said that addressing the coaching staff was a top priority while at the General Managers Meetings in Arizona this week.

Falvey said he had several conversations with manager Paul Molitor about the coaching staff, and also talked with Antony about the coaches. Molitor said Monday he hoped all of his coaches would return.

"There wasn't any one thing," Falvey said. "We tried to make the decision together. Paul, Thad and I worked through the criteria together and what we wanted out of our staff, and those were two areas we wanted to make a change with and upgrade."

Brunansky, who was an All-Star and won a World Series while playing with the Twins from 1982-88, rejoined the organization in 2010, serving as the hitting coach for the Gulf Coast League Twins. He was promoted to Double-A hitting coach in 2011 before becoming the hitting coach for Triple-A Rochester in '12. He joined the Twins as hitting coach before the 2013 season.

The Twins scored 722 runs last season, finishing 16th in the Majors. Minnesota scored 696 runs in 2015, which was the 13th most in baseball. Minnesota's best year with Brunansky came in 2014, when the Twins finished seventh in the Majors with 715 runs.

Brunansky worked with veterans such as second baseman Brian Dozier and third baseman Trevor Plouffe while they were in the Minor Leagues, and they both credited him with revamping their approach at the plate.

Davis spent two seasons as the club's first-base coach and also served as outfielder coordinator. He previously spent two years as a coach for Baltimore's Double-A affiliate.

Davis spent much of Spring Training helping Miguel Sano try to adjust to right field, which ultimately ended up not working out with Sano returning to third base later in the year. But youngsters Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler have all turned out to be solid defenders with strong arms.

The decision to keep Allen was a bit surprising, as the Twins finished last in the Majors in ERA and Allen was suspended for six weeks during the season after being arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. But Allen previously worked in the analytically-driven Rays' organization, and Falvey said Allen is on board with the organization's new pitching philosophies.

"I think what went into that decision wasn't one characteristic or trait," Falvey said. "We had an opportunity to talk to Neil and set some expectations about what we want to do going forward. And Neil is very supportive of the pitching program we have talked about. I talked to Neil [on Tuesday] and while I have ideas about the pitching program, I'm not going to be inflexible."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.