Pitching coach Allen let go after 3 seasons

Twins have list of candidates for post; Zoll hired as director of Minors operations

Pitching coach Allen let go after 3 seasons

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins made a slew of organizational changes on Tuesday, including the dismissal of pitching coach Neil Allen and the hiring of Jeremy Zoll as the director of Minor League operations, replacing Brad Steil, who will transition into his new role as director of professional scouting.

Allen, 59, had served as Minnesota's pitching coach the last three seasons. The Twins improved their team ERA from 5.08 in 2016 to 4.49 ERA in '17, but Allen was the lone coach on the staff who was let go by the front office after the season.

"Changing coaches is a hard thing," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We experienced that last year. You build relationships and trust. I feel like Neil and I had a good relationship, and I consider him a late-in-life friend. It's difficult. We collectively decided to pursue somebody in that role that will help push our pitching forward."

The Twins will also be hiring a new Minor League pitching coordinator after Eric Rasmussen was not retained after serving in that role for nine seasons. It allows chief baseball officer Derek Falvey to put his stamp on the pitching hires, and he said they already have a list of candidates for the pitching coach position.

"We want development to continue at the Major League level," Falvey said. "There's a view sometimes in baseball that once they reach the Majors they're done with development and ready. But like we saw this year, you need to support players through struggles. The development isn't always linear, so we want our coaches to embody that spirit going forward."

Zoll, 27, takes over as farm director after two seasons with the Dodgers as assistant director of player development. Zoll, a 2012 graduate of Haverford College, helped create on-field philosophies and special programs while assisting in the oversight of Los Angeles' Minor League system. Steil's new role will be overseeing the organization's pro scouts, while also helping scout as well.

"We're really fortunate and excited to have him," Falvey said of Zoll. "He came in highly recommended from the people he worked with and around. He'll bring some new ideas into what we're doing developmentally."

Worth noting

• General manager Thad Levine said surgery hasn't been ruled out for third baseman Miguel Sano, who remains sidelined with a stress reaction to his left shin. The Twins are hopeful Sano will be able to rehab without surgery, but if he does undergo the operation, a rod will be placed in his shin, and he'll need roughly eight weeks to recover.

• The Twins also announced the hire of Daniel Adler as director of baseball operations, although he's been with the club since late August. Adler, 31, worked as an intern with MLB's labor relations department in 2009 and '11 and worked with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars in their analytics department since 2012. He completed his JD/MBA at Harvard University in May.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.