Twins name Garvin Alston pitching coach

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke, left, talks with bullpen coach Garvin Alston during a spring baseball practice in Scottsdale, Ariz., Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. (Chris Carlson/AP)

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins have named Garvin Alston pitching coach.

The 45-year-old Alston, whose hiring was announced Thursday by the Twins, became bullpen coach for the Oakland Athletics last season after starting the year as pitching rehab co-ordinator for the San Diego Padres. Alston previously served as bullpen coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks and as minor league pitching co-ordinator and minor league rehab pitching co-ordinator in two earlier stints with the A’s. Alston also pitched in the Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers systems and made six major league appearances with the Rockies in 1996.

The variety of experiences helped push his name to the top of chief baseball officer Derek Falvey’s list.

"We view what Garvin has done throughout his career as proof positive of the meaningful impact that he has on players," Falvey said.

Alston will be the 16th pitching coach in club history but only the fourth since 1985. He replaces Neil Allen, who was let go after three seasons. The Twins ranked 19th in the majors this season with a 4.59 ERA, after finishing second-to-last in 2016. After several major league teams made changes, the market was rich with pitching coach candidates this off-season. One of those was former Twins reliever Carl Willis, who was hired Thursday by the Cleveland Indians.

Alston is a native of Mount Vernon, New York, which is just north of New York City and the hometown of Twins hitting coach James Rowson. Alston said they’ve known each other since their youth and kept in contact throughout their pro careers.