Ryan: Twins' medical staff to be evaluated
Minnesota led Majors with 27 disabled-list stays in 2011
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins interim general manager Terry Ryan hinted on Monday that the club's medical staff will be reevaluated after Minnesota led the Majors by utilizing the disabled list 27 times last year en route to a 99-loss season.
Ryan said keeping players healthy is an area of concern, and added that he talked about it at length with Bill Smith before taking Smith's place as interim general manager on Monday.
"That needs to be talked about," Ryan said at his re-introductory press conference at Target Field. "We had a tough year in medical. We had a tough year in a lot of areas. Not only up here, but right through the system. We need to do some tweaking at the very least there. When it comes to communication, there are areas there that need to be addressed, and I plan on doing that. I know Bill was in the process of doing that up until last week. He was worried about it, and I'm worried about it."
Ryan wouldn't say there will be any changes to the training staff, but said he plans on talking with the staff about the various injuries the Twins suffered in 2011. He said he was most concerned about the amount of time it took players to come back from injuries.
"I think when everybody started to get concerned was the rehab time and how long after a sprained ankle it took to get back on the field," Ryan said. "I'm aware of that and I have to talk to our medical people to get a better account of exactly why and some of the decisions that were made."
Ryan also made sure not to blame the players for the injuries suffered, but urged that there needs to be more accountability from the training staff, coaching staff, players and even himself regarding injuries.
"The players can only take advice," Ryan said. "Players take the advice you give them. We not only give them an exam up here in the Twin Cities, but they're also welcome to get a second opinion. I would never put it on the players. It's our responsibility to take control of that, and we will."
Ryan also said he doesn't anticipate any changes to the Twins' on-field coaching staff as long as manager Ron Gardenhire wants to keep his current staff of pitching coach Rick Anderson, hitting coach Joe Vavra, first-base coach Jerry White, third-base coach Steve Liddle, bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek and bench coach Scott Ulger. But he didn't rule out that there could be some shuffling of roles if that's what Gardenhire wants.
"If Ron is content with his Major League coaching staff, it's going to remain intact," Ryan said. "I'm going to talk to him about it, but I suspect everything will stay status quo. I'm not sure if they've discussed where they're going to be and everything -- third-base coach, first-base coach, bench coach and all that stuff -- but it's premature to say that because I haven't talked to Ron about it."