As baseball's winter meetings begin, here's a look at some of the news and notes surrounding the Mud Hens since the season ended. ...
- I know this isn't exactly new, but the Mud Hens have their "old" manager as their new manager. The Tigers promoted Larry Parrish, the winningest manager in franchise history, from Lo-A West Michigan to Toledo to manage the Mud Hens in 2014. Click here to read the story about Parrish returning to the Hens. At this point Leon "Bull" Durham is slated to return as hitting coach, while Al Nipper will replace A.J. Sager as the Mud Hens pitching coach. No replacement has been named for trainer Matt Rankin, who will be promoted to Detroit to serve as a trainer for the Tigers next season.
- While Phil Nevin, the Mud Hens manager for the past three years, will not return, he does have a job for next season. Nevin was named the new manager of the Reno Aces, Arizona's Triple-A club in the Pacific Coast League. Click here to read the story of Nevin getting the Reno manager's job.
I'm still getting e-mails asking why Nevin was let go as Mud Hens manager. Click here to read some of my thoughts as to why his contract was not renewed by the Tigers.
It's interesting to note that Arizona has signed two six-year free agents who played for Nevin in Toledo last season. The Diamondbacks signed 1B Danny Dorn and RHP Jess Todd, and the pair presumably will play for Nevin in Reno in 2014.
- The change in managers in Detroit has resulted in some changes in the coaching staff affecting several coaches with Mud Hens ties. Pitching coach Jeff Jones, who spent a number of years as Toledo's pitching coach, was hired by new Tigers manager Brad Ausmus to return to that post in 2014.
Among the coaches who did not return were 2013 bullpen coach Mike Rojas, who managed the Mud Hens in 2007. Rojas joined the staff of new Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon as the Mariners bullpen coach for 2014.
- Several members of the Mud Hens 2013 team have signed contracts to play elsewhere in 2014. At this point SS Argenis Diaz signed a minor-league contract with Cincinnati, and LHP Matt Hoffman signed a minor-league contract with Minnesota.
Click here for a directory of post-season evaluations for all the players who spent the majority of 2013 with the Mud Hens.
- The Tigers have signed several six-year free agents early this off season.
The most notable is 1B Mike Hessman, who played in Toledo from 2005-09 and is the franchise's all-time leader in home runs and RBIs along with several other statistical categories. Click here to learn more about Hessman.