Bobby Cuellar is heading to the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen…
The 60-year-old Mexican American former professional player has been hired as the bullpen coach to assist the team’s manager Ron Gardenhire, the team announced Monday.
The Twins earlier let go of Gardenhire’s long-time bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, a reaction to a second straight season of close to 100 losses.
Cuellar, who was born in Alice, Texas, served in the minor leagues as the pitching coach for the Rochester Red Wings for last four years, his second stint in that role. He was previously New Britain‘s manager in 2008 and the bullpen coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006 and 2007. Before that, he spent four seasons as the Twins’ Triple-A pitching coach. In 2002, he was credited with helping a young Johan Santana develop the trademark changeup he used to become a two-time AL Cy Young Award winner.
Cuellar also is fluent in Spanish, fulfilling the Twins’ desire to add a coach who could better communicate with their players born in Latin countries.
“He’s got a lot of knowledge, a lot of familiarity, and he knows Gardy and (Anderson) well,” said Twins’ general manager Terry Ryan. “Chemistry is important on every major league staff.”
Cuellar played briefly with the Texas Rangers in 1977 as a relief pitcher. He’s a graduate of the University of Texas.