Uncertain times for all Minnesota Twins employees after firing of GM Terry Ryan

Minor league notebook

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CEDAR RAPIDS — These are weird times for employees of the Minnesota Twins organization. Uncertain times, too.

General Manager Terry Ryan was fired last week after 18 years on the job over two separate stints. He had been with the organization since 1972.

Ownership said it hopes to have his replacement in place by season’s end, which may or may not be feasible. It sounds likely the club, known for extreme loyalty and promoting from within, will seek someone from the outside this time to be GM.

“It’s sad for all of us,” Cedar Rapids Kernels Manager Jake Mauer said. “He was around when I got drafted (2001), and, obviously, I got to know him more here on the other side than as a player. We’re going to miss him. It’s unfortunate that it has come to this. The big league guys had a lot of injuries and different things like that. The whole timing of it is kind of odd. But they felt it was time to make the change, I guess. The guys up top made the decision.”

Ryan was very highly regarded by his peers and by those who worked for him, including Mauer. He made yearly visits to Cedar Rapids to observe the Kernels, always taking time to speak with the club’s front-office staff, reporters or any fan that just wanted to chat.

True to his scouting background, you’d always see him in the stands with a stopwatch and notebook, in which he would write down observations of players.

“Great man,” Mauer said. “He’d come down and see every affiliate, from the top all the way down. I don’t think there are many major league general managers who know a lot of Rookie ball guys by their first name. One of the neat things about Terry is you always knew where you stood. He was to the point, direct, there was no sugar coating anything. Sometimes that's good, especially in this day and age, where everyone seems to be so sensitive.”

Mauer played five seasons in the Twins minor league system, then accepted a job as a coach. He has been a manager — and a successful one — since 2008.

His staff this season includes pitching coach J.P. Martinez and hitting coach Brian Dinkelman, both former players in the Twins organization. It’s just the way the club always has done things.

Will that change with a new GM? Will the player development system change?

Will guys like Mauer, Dinkelman and Martinez ultimately have jobs next season? Do they worry about that?

“It’s one of those things where you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Mauer said. “Who are they going to hire? How that is all going to fit? But you’ve got to do the job, and do what you think is best. It’s one of those things where we tell these guys who are all worried about who is doing this or who is doing what, that is stuff you can’t control. If you concern yourself with it, you become consumed with it, and that’s not good.”

How They're Doing

Colin Rea (Cascade): The San Diego Padres pitcher allowed eight hits and four runs over six innings in his start this past week against St. Louis. Is 5-4 with a 5.01 ERA in 18 games, 17 starts.
Scott Schebler (Cedar Rapids Prairie): Triple-A Louisville (Reds) outfielder went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs Friday night against Lehigh Valley. Hitting .295 in 67 games, with 11 homers and 36 RBIs.
Matt Dermody (University of Iowa): Now at Triple-A Buffalo, his third stop in the Blue Jays organization this season. Has not been scored upon in first three outings over 2 2/3 innings. Is 3-1 with a 1.33 earned run average in 35 appearances overall.
Jon Keller (Cedar Rapids Xavier): Relief pitcher is 0-2 with a save and 6.49 ERA in 23 games for Double-A Bowie (Orioles).
Mitch Keller (Cedar Rapids Xavier): Starting pitcher is 6-5 with a 2.70 ERA in 17 starts for Class A West Virginia (Pirates). Only 70 hits allowed and 98 strikeouts in 93 1/3 innings.
Derrick Loveless (Solon): Outfielder has hit five home runs in 27 games for Double-A New Hampshire (Blue Jays). Has a .243 average.
Jake Yacinich (University of Iowa): Shortstop has hit in five of his last six games for Class A Burlington (Angels). Season batting average is .240 in 50 games, with four home runs and 27 RBIs.
Joel Booker (University of Iowa): Outfielder is hitting .283 in 25 games for Arizona Rookie League White Sox, with a home run and 13 RBIs. Also has 16 stolen bases.
Kris Goodman (University of Iowa): In 20 games for Shortseason-A Batavia (Marlins), outfielder is hitting .257.
Nick Roscetti (University of Iowa): Shortstop continues to be on the disabled list for high-A Brevard County (Brewers).
Eric Toole (University of Iowa): Outfielder hitting .281 in 15 games for Shortseason-A Boise (Rockies). Has four RBIs and four stolen bases.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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