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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Minnesota Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson exiting, reportedly for same position with LSU Tigers

Minnesota Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson has informed the club he will leave his job this week, reportedly for the same role at LSU.

Johnson traveled with the team on Sunday night to Cleveland, where he will stay on for the five-game series that’s scheduled through Thursday, Twins spokesman Dustin Morse said.

According to a report by D1Baseball.com on Twitter, Johnson has accepted the pitching coach position at LSU. The Twins did not confirm Johnson’s destination. Further announcements from the club surrounding the staff change will come this week.

The midseason move by a key assistant from a first-place team was startling, but Johnson’s arrival in 2019 was also unusual. He was widely believed to be the first college pitching coach to jump directly to the major leagues when the Twins hired him from Arkansas.

Johnson presided over pitching staffs for division 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 series this week. Minnesota has a 3.78 team ERA, which ranks 11th in the majors.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 26, 2022 at 11:54 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college baseball, twins

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   1. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: June 27, 2022 at 06:44 AM (#6084043)
Apparently he's getting a $400K raise to go to LSU (350K vs. 750K).
   2. sanny manguillen Posted: June 27, 2022 at 08:16 AM (#6084045)
Chris Archer threw five shutout innings for the Twins on Saturday. Give the guy whatever he wants.
   3. sanny manguillen Posted: June 27, 2022 at 08:27 AM (#6084047)
He was widely believed to be the first college pitching coach to jump directly to the major leagues when the Twins hired him from Arkansas.


Did old-timey college teams just not have pitching coaches? It seems like a hundred years ago major league players would go into college coaching. It seems likely someone would have jumped back.
   4. DL from MN Posted: June 27, 2022 at 12:17 PM (#6084078)
I am sure I could find examples of a lot of coaches who returned to the professional ranks but none have jumped directly from college to MLB.

I am not understanding how a college team that has attendance of 400,000 can afford a $750,000 pitching coach.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 27, 2022 at 12:26 PM (#6084081)
I am not understanding how a college team that has attendance of 400,000 can afford a $750,000 pitching coach.

I can't understand why an MLB team doesn't pay more than that. A good pitching coach is worth a lot.
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 27, 2022 at 12:43 PM (#6084089)
I am sure I could find examples of a lot of coaches who returned to the professional ranks but none have jumped directly from college to MLB.


Walt Weiss jumped directly from managing a high school team to managing the Rockies.

I am not understanding how a college team that has attendance of 400,000 can afford a $750,000 pitching coach.


When you don't have to pay the players, that frees up a lot of money to pay the coaches with. The University of Alabama pays nine football coaches more than a half million dollars apiece. There are also two "senior special assistant to the head coach" positions that pay $450,000 and $695,000.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 27, 2022 at 01:24 PM (#6084097)
T

I am not understanding how a college team that has attendance of 400,000 can afford a $750,000 pitching coach.


The LSU athletic department earned $121M in revenues in 2021, which was a huge dip due to the pandemic.
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 27, 2022 at 01:52 PM (#6084101)
Walt Weiss jumped directly from managing a high school team to managing the Rockies.
More of a lateral move than a jump.

I kid, I kid.
   9. greenback needs a ride, not ammo Posted: June 27, 2022 at 02:41 PM (#6084103)
Walt Weiss jumped directly from managing a high school team to managing the Rockies.

Mike Matheny jumped directly from managing his kid's little league team to managing the Cardinals. That's not an exaggeration.
   10. DL from MN Posted: June 27, 2022 at 04:15 PM (#6084124)
When you don't have to pay the players


They do have to cover the 12 scholarships at (up to) $29,000 a year. That's $350,000. They're paying the head coach $1.3M. I'm guessing $3M before we get into travel & equipment costs. I suppose that's covered by $10/ticket with 400,000 attendance.

This chart says Wes Johnson is now one of the top 20 highest paid baseball coaches in college baseball.

https://athleticdirectoru.com/2020-baseball/

   11. Ithaca2323 Posted: June 27, 2022 at 04:23 PM (#6084129)
I mean, those teams have donors as well. I'm sure it's nothing for them to cover.

But per #5, I don't know if that's more than the going rate for MLB pitching coaches, but I can't imagine the Twins wanting to get into a bidding war with a college team.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 27, 2022 at 04:26 PM (#6084130)
but I can't imagine the Twins wanting to get into a bidding war with a college team.

Because they'd lose?
   13. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 27, 2022 at 04:27 PM (#6084131)
This is from SeatGeek:

LSU baseball ticket prices on the secondary market can vary depending on a number of factors. Typically, LSU baseball tickets can be found for as low as $21.00, with an average price of $41.00 but can vary depending on the opponent.


So that 400,000 attendance translates into more like $16 million in revenue.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: June 27, 2022 at 05:31 PM (#6084147)
Maybe the Rays should move to Baton Rouge and rebrand as LSU
   15. tonywagner Posted: June 27, 2022 at 06:52 PM (#6084155)
13: those are secondary market prices, not revenue to the school.
   16. GregD Posted: June 27, 2022 at 07:02 PM (#6084159)
LSU has stated in past that baseball revenues were up to $6 million but the numbers can get hard to parse. Some times they list baseball as profitable on its own but at other times don't. I imagine there's some fluidity. Still, 750k for a pitching coach seems like a lot.
   17. Cris E Posted: June 27, 2022 at 09:25 PM (#6084191)
According to the radio, the guys in the locker room are happy for Wes and supportive of the move. On the other hand the old geezer former players that they've talked to are certain this would not have been OK back when they were playing. And that's pretty much most of the alums, "Almost everyone, five to thirty five years ago." Shocker.
   18. DL from MN Posted: June 28, 2022 at 10:00 AM (#6084244)
I can't imagine the Twins wanting to get into a bidding war with a college team.


I can't either. These guys aren't irreplaceable.
   19. greenback needs a ride, not ammo Posted: June 28, 2022 at 10:07 AM (#6084247)
LSU something something strong-ass offer something something, although I guess Will Wade doesn't run the baseball program.
   20. Ithaca2323 Posted: June 28, 2022 at 03:01 PM (#6084305)
Because they'd lose?


Because it's not like LSU is your direct competition.

As #18 points out, these guys aren't irreplaceable. The Twins have had five different ones between 2014 and now. Is he that much better to justify possibly doubling his pay?

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