DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today announced the Minor League field staff and roving personnel assignments for the 2018 season.
Dave Owen (Director, Player Development), Bill Dancy (Minor League Field Coordinator), Manny Crespo (Director, Latin American Player Development), Joe DePastino (Catching Coordinator), Bruce Fields (Hitting Coordinator), A.J. Sager (Pitching Coordinator), Jaime Garcia (Assistant Pitching Coordinator), Gene Roof (Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator), Brian Peterson (Mental Skills Instructor), Josman Robles (Latin American Performance Coach), Sharon Lockwood (Coordinator of International Player Programs), Corey Tremble (Medical & Rehab Coordinator), Steve Chase (Strength and Conditioning Coordinator) and Patrick Saenz (Lakeland Clubhouse Manager) will all return in their respective positions for the 2018 season. Scott Fletcher, who was the Infield Coordinator last season, will now be a Hitting Coordinator. Jose Valentin, who last coached for the San Diego Padres in 2015 as the first base coach, and played 16 Major League seasons, will now be the Minor League Infield Coordinator. Adam Daily, who was the Minor League Video Coordinator in 2017, will now serve as the Analytics/TrackMan Coordinator. Jim McKew will be the Minor League Video Coordinator, with Kan Ikeda serving as the Minor League Assistant Video Coordinator. Manny Pena, who served as the athletic trainer for GCL Tigers West in 2017, will now be the Assistant Medical Coordinator – International in 2018.
For Triple A Toledo, Doug Mientkiewicz joins the Tigers organization as the Mud Hens manager, after spending the last five seasons as a manager in the Minnesota Twins Minor League system, most recently with Single A Advanced Fort Myers in 2017. As a manager in the Twins system, the Toledo native led Fort Myers to the postseason in 2013, 2014 and 2017, and led Double A Chattanooga to the Southern League Championship in 2015. Pitching coach Jeff Pico, hitting coach Brian Harper, coach Basilio Cabrera, athletic trainer Chris McDonald and strength and conditioning coach Fred Murphy all return to the Mud Hens staff in 2018.
At Double A Erie, Andrew Graham will take over as manager, after spending last season as the manager of Single A Advanced Lakeland. This season will be Graham’s 10th with the Tigers organization, and eighth as a manager in the Minor League system. Mike Hessman, who served as Single A West Michigan’s hitting coach last season, will serve in the same role for Erie this upcoming season. Willie Blair will enter his third season as Erie’s pitching coach. Santiago Garrido will join the Erie staff as a coach, after playing 10 seasons in the Minor Leagues, most recently with the Erie SeaWolves in 2017. Athletic trainer T.J. Obergefell and strength and conditioning coach Jeff Mathers will return to the SeaWolves staff in 2018.
The Single A Advanced Lakeland Flying Tigers will be managed by Mike Rabelo, who spent the 2017 season as the manager for Single A West Michigan. Rabelo was named the 2017 Midwest League Manager of the Year after he helped guide the Whitecaps to a Midwest League-leading 91 wins. Mark Johnson and Tim Garland return to the Lakeland staff in 2018 as the pitching coach and hitting coach, respectively. Francisco Contreras, who spent last season as the hitting coach for the GCL (Gulf Coast League) Tigers West, will serve as a coach in Lakeland. Strength and conditioning coach Allan Williamson and athletic trainer Chris Vick will also return to the Lakeland staff in 2018.
For Single A West Michigan, Lance Parrish takes over as skipper, after spending the last four seasons as the manager for Double A Erie. Jorge Cordova returns for his second season as the team’s pitching coach. Mariano Duncan joins the Tigers organization, and will be the hitting coach for the Whitecaps after serving as a coach in the Chicago Cubs Minor League system for the last seven seasons, most recently as hitting coach for Triple A Iowa. John Vander Wal will join the staff as a coach for West Michigan, after spending the 2017 season as a pro scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Matt Rosenhamer will return in 2018 as the strength and conditioning coach for West Michigan as will athletic trainer Jason Schwartzman.
At Short A Connecticut, Gerald Laird, who was named the team manager in 2017, will return as manager in 2018. Ace Adams and Rafael Martinez both return to Connecticut’s coaching staff in 2018 as the team’s pitching coach and hitting coach, respectively. Edwin Ortiz returns as Connecticut’s strength and conditioning coach and Sean McFarland joins the staff as the team’s athletic trainer.
Gary Cathcart will be the manager for the GCL Tigers West this season after spending the last two seasons as the Miami Marlins field coordinator. Cathcart last managed in the New York-Penn League in 2015 for the Auburn Doubledays, the Washington Nationals’ Rookie-level affiliate, where he spent five seasons as the skipper. Mike Alvarez returns for his second season as the club’s pitching coach. Bill Springman will join the staff and be the team’s hitting coach, after spending last season as the hitting coach for the Uni-Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League. Marcos Sierra will return in 2018 as the GCL Tigers West strength and conditioning coach and Cody Derby will be the team’s athletic trainer.
Luis López will manage the GCL Tigers East in 2018, after spending the past six seasons as the Minor League infield coordinator with the Atlanta Braves. Prior to his six seasons with Atlanta, López also spent four seasons in the Boston Red Sox organization as a Minor League hitting coach. Carlos Bohorquez returns for his third season in 2018 as the team’s pitching coach. Rafael Gil, who spent last season as the manager for the GCL Tigers West club, will serve as the team’s hitting coach. Luis Rodriguez returns as strength and conditioning coach this season, while Erick Flores will serve as the athletic trainer.
Ramon Zapata, who was the hitting coach for GCL Tigers East last season, will be the manager of the DSL (Dominican Summer League) Tigers1 team in 2018. Jose Parra returns to his role as the team’s pitching coach, which will mark his 11th season in that capacity. Jose Ovalles returns to the staff and will serve as the team’s hitting coach. Soilo Perdomo returns as a coach, his sixth season in a full-time capacity with the organization. Francisco Martinez joins the staff, after playing eight seasons in the Minor Leagues, most recently with the Single A Advanced Lakeland Flying Tigers in 2015. Carlos Quintero enters his third season as a coach for the DSL Tigers. Luis Reyes and Jairo Diaz will both serve as the athletic trainers and Rafael Suero will return as the team’s strength and conditioning coach in 2018.
Jesus Garces, who was the GCL Tigers East manager in 2017, will serve as manager for the DSL Tigers2 in 2018. Luis Marte will serve as the team’s pitching coach, after spending last season as an assistant pitching coach with the DSL Tigers. Marte will be joined by Williams Moreno, who will begin his coaching career in 2018 and serve as the team’s assistant pitching coach. Marco Yepez, who managed the DSL Tigers in 2017, will now be the team’s hitting coach. Carmelo Jaime, who was the infield coach for the GCL Tigers East last season, joins the staff in 2018 as a coach. Sandy Acevedo enters his fifth season in a full-time capacity with the Tigers organization and his first as a coach for the DSL Tigers2. Thomas Muñoz also returns to the DSL Tigers as the strength and conditioning coach in 2018.