But Gardenhire had nothing but positives to say about Anderson, who has been his pitching coach since taking over as manager in 2002. Gardenhire, though, did acknowledge that the overall numbers haven't been pretty, as Twins starters are set to finish the year with the worst ERA in the Majors for a second straight year.
"Pitching coaches are judged by overall, but it's hard to do," Gardenhire said. "You look at our bullpen, guys like [starters Phil] Hughes and [Kyle] Gibson, and if you look at it that way, he had a heck of a year. But the overall numbers is what it is. But he lives and dies with every pitch. That's the life of a pitching coach. But emotionally, Andy is the same guy. He never stops working and has a good relationship with the pitchers."
Hughes has seen a turnaround with the Twins this season, going from 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA with the Yankees in 2013 to 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA with the Twins this season while setting Major League Baseball's single-season strikeout-to-walk-ratio record with 11.63 strikeouts per walk. Hughes indicated he'd like to see both Gardenhire and Anderson back next year.
"It's been a pleasure playing for them this year," Hughes said. "Rick Anderson, I've worked tremendously well with him. He's been instrumental in turning me around."
Catcher Kurt Suzuki also expressed his support for Anderson, as he sits in on all of the meetings with the pitchers and believes the struggles of the rotation aren't Anderson's fault.
"The bottom line is if they want to blame somebody about that, I'm the one putting the fingers down," Suzuki said. "It's not his fault. He's not the one putting the fingers down or throwing the pitch. The bottom line is the players have to do their jobs. It doesn't fall on his shoulders. He gets all these guys mechanically right, and it's our job as professionals to get the job done."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.