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 Tigers look to fill Toledo managing vacancy

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PostSubject: Tigers look to fill Toledo managing vacancy   Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:36 pm

Tigers look to fill Toledo managing vacancy
Parrish's departure has club searching for new Triple-A skipper
MLB.com | 11/01/10 6:00 PM ET

DETROIT -- The Tigers have had names and faces come in and out of their Minor League coaching ranks, but Larry Parrish has been a mainstay at the top. Now that Parrish is getting a shot at the big leagues again after eight seasons managing at Triple-A Toledo, the Tigers have a major void to fill.

They couldn't be happier, and they gave a glowing recommendation to the Braves on why he would fit as a Major League hitting coach. Replacing him, of course, is the tough part.

Add up Parrish's time on the Tigers coaching staff, including a season-plus as manager and his other stops in the farm system, to his Mud Hens tenure, and he spent the past 19 years in the Tigers organization -- longer than any other current on-field personnel. He earned the Mud Hens' wins record this past summer, and he had long since become a trusted voice for the Tigers front office in player development.

The number of Major League players who passed through Toledo under his watch is piling up, including current Giants postseason hero Cody Ross, San Francisco teammate Andres Torres and Rangers starter Colby Lewis, 3-0 this postseason. Much of the young corps that helped Detroit overcome its numerous injuries this summer, including Brennan Boesch, Casper Wells and Will Rhymes, began the season with Parrish in Toledo.

Parrish's no-nonsense, honest input was important in player moves -- even when they didn't involve his players. After watching Austin Jackson play for the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate last season, Parrish's evaluation played a big part in the Tigers' desire to acquire him.

The chance at a Major League coaching job, and one just a few hours from his Georgia home, was too much to pass up.

"A lot of people told me, 'How can you even think about this?' But I had to stop and think about it," Parrish told the Toledo Blade. "[A big league job] wasn't what drove me. Teaching players and feeling I did something to help a guy get to the Majors is what drove me.

"Toledo had become a second home for me. I have a lot of friends in Toledo. I know I'm leaving a great situation there; I had the same trainer and same hitting coach for a long time, and that was like family."


That family, Mud Hens athletic trainer Matt Rankin and hitting coach Leon 'Bull' Durham, was already in place when Parrish succeeded Bruce Fields as Hens skipper in 2003. They'll likely be back next season, though Durham's name is building for Major League coaching jobs after he interviewed for Seattle's hitting coach opening last month.

Who will be managing in Toledo, obviously, is the question -- one that doesn't have an obvious answer. Double-A Erie manager Phil Nevin just completed his first season there after managing in independent ball, while the Tigers just hired former player Ernie Young to manage at Class A West Michigan. Andy Barkett, who played at Toledo under Parrish in 2004, has managed at Class A Lakeland for the past three seasons and at short-season Class A ball before that.

Tigers vice president and assistant general manager Al Avila said they'll look at candidates inside and outside the organization for the opening -- and that they'll be looking for somebody with managerial experience. It was too early, though, to get into names.

One outside name who could be an intriguing candidate is Matt Walbeck, who managed in the Tigers farm system for four seasons before leaving after the 2007 campaign. He's believed to be seeking a Major League coaching job or Triple-A managerial post after leading the Pirates' Double-A Altoona squad to an Eastern League title -- after which he was let go in a move that seemingly defied logic.

Another interesting possibility would be Bruce Fields, Parrish's predecessor as Mud Hens manager before spending three seasons on Alan Trammell's coaching staff with the Tigers. The Detroit resident has been working as a hitting instructor in the Indians organization for the past five years, but he also has a son, highly regarded outfield prospect Daniel Fields, in the Tigers system.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola


Last edited by GoGetEmTigers on Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers look to fill Toledo managing vacancy   Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:10 am

Phil Nevin expected to take over in Toledo
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on November 10, 2010 at 2:48 PM

The Tigers haven't made it official, but barring a last-minute shocker, Phil Nevin is getting a promotion in the farm system. He's expected to be introduced Thursday as the new Mud Hens manager, filling the job Larry Parrish handled capably for eight years before the Braves hired him as their hitting coach last month.

Mark Anderson of TigsTown.com first reported the move. Tigers player development director Mike Rojas told MLB.com they haven't made a final hire and wouldn't get into names, but hoped to have something to announce after meeting with officials in Detroit Thursday.

Nevin joined the organization last year as the manager at Double-A Erie, a move made by former Tigers player development Glenn Ezell after Nevin spent 2009 managing in independent ball. Nevin wanted a shot, and the Tigers gave it to him. While the SeaWolves finished 66-76, the record was a little deceiving. They got off to a terrible start, losing their first eight games, and played pretty close to .500 ball the rest of the way.

The 39-year-old Nevin played in Toledo in 1995 after he was the player to be named later from Houston in the Mike Henneman trade. He was a Mud Hen again in 1997 before the Tigers traded him to the Angels. He also was a Tiger in 1996 and '97.

No word yet who will replace Nevin in Erie. One in-house candidate could be Andy Barkett, who managed at Class A Lakeland for the past few years, but he is a Florida native.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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