Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson to drop out for same job at LSU

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson has informed the club that he will be leaving his job this week, reportedly for the same role at LSU.

Johnson traveled with the team to Cleveland on Sunday night, where he will stay for a five-match series scheduled for Thursday, said Twins spokesman Dustin Morse.

According to a report from D1Baseball.com on Twitter, Johnson has accepted the position of pitching coach at LSU. LSU spokesman Bill Franks said the Tigers plan to announce a new pitching coach on Monday, although he did not identify the hire.

The twins did not confirm Johnson’s destination. Staff changes will be announced further this week from the surrounding club. The Athletic reported that Johnson would receive a significant raise.

The midseason move by a key assistant to the first-place team was shocking, but Johnson’s arrival in 2019 was also unusual. He was the first college pitching coach to jump straight into the major leagues in four decades, when the Twins hired him from Arkansas, the national runner-up in the 2018 College World Series.

Johnson, 50, spent nine seasons as a college pitching coach before the Twins gave him a deeper look at his background in biomechanics. He has a master’s degree in Kinesiology.

Johnson, an Atlanta native who has maintained an offseason home in Fayetteville, Arkansas, also stayed in Mississippi State, Dallas Baptist, and Central Arkansas. He was a high school coach before entering the college ranks.

Johnson presided over the pitching staff for the division’s champion teams in his first two years, and the Twins have returned to the top of the AL Central this season. They lead the Guardians by two games, entering their flagship series this week. Minnesota has a 3.78 team ERA, ranking 11th among the majors. The Twins were ranked 26th in the ERA last year, fourth in 2020 and ninth in 2019, while Johnson was in charge of staff.

Twins pitchers regularly praised his energy, positivity, and wisdom of Johnson, as was the case on a recent Saturday night when Chris Archer threw Colorado five shutout innings with one hit.

“Wes is one of my biggest advocates,” Archer said after a 6-0 win at Target Field. “In the middle of the beginning we do a lot of work, mental and physical.”

LSU has long been a force in college baseball. The Tigers are one of only three schools to have won six national championships, all of which were submitted between 1991 and 2009. He has made the College World Series 18 times, most recently in 2017.

Coach Jay Johnson just finished his first season at LSU, going 40–22 and was eliminated by Southern Mississippi in the final game of their NCAA regional, and has already moved two members of his staff to promotion elsewhere. getting lost for

Dan Fitzgerald, assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, has been appointed as the head coach in Kansas. Pitching coach Jason Kelly was appointed as the head coach at the University of Washington.

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