Jake Mauer will return for a fourth season as skipper of the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2016. It will be his ninth season as a manager in the Minnesota Twins organization.
The Kernels reached the playoffs in all three of Mauer’s seasons at the helm, and lasted further into the postseason each time. They lost in the first round in 2013, lost in the second round in 2014, and dropped Game 5 in the best-of-five Midwest League Championship Series this year.
Mauer played in the Midwest League in 2002, batting .226 with 20 RBI in 84 games with the Quad City River Bandits.
The Kernels will have new hitting and pitching coaches in 2016. Hitting coach Brian Dinkelman and pitching coach J.P. Martinez served in those same roles for the Twins’ rookie-level Gulf Coast League team in 2015.
Both played in the Midwest League, for the Beloit Snappers when the team was affiliated with the Twins. Martinez went 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA, 20 saves, 92 strikeouts and 31 walks in 88.1 IP (53 games) for the 2005 Snappers. Dinkelman batted .283 with 7 HR and 21 RBI in 67 games with the 2007 Snappers.
Tommy Watkins, hitting coach for Cedar Rapids the past three seasons, will serve in that same role for Minnesota’s Double-A affiliate in Chattanooga next year.