Tigers Tab Young To Manage West Michigan
DETROIT—One of the up-and-coming young managers in minor league baseball will join the Tigers organization next season.
Former Tiger Ernie Young was named manager at low Class A West Michigan to replace Joe DePastino, who was named Detroit's minor league catching instructor. Young's most recent job was as manager for Team USA in the Pan Am Qualifier tournament in San Juan, P.R. in October. In that tournament the 41-year-old Young led Team USA to a 9-1 record and a tie for third place.
The Chicago native isn't a stranger to leadership roles in pro ball, either. The past two seasons Young served as manager of the White Sox's low Class A Kannapolis team in the South Atlantic League, leading the Intimidators to a league-best 82-57 record in 2009 and a 65-74 mark last season.
As a player, Young had an 18-year pro career, including eight seasons of major league service. But in his time in the minors Young became well-known as a clubhouse leader. He helped lead Triple-A playoff teams in Memphis (2000), Buffalo (2004-05) and Charlotte (2006) and was on four championship teams in his minor league career.
"I'm very excited," Young told the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press. "I enjoy managing, I enjoy teaching and I'm excited about the opportunity to be back in the Tigers organization and work my way up to the major leagues in some capacity."
The staff at West Michigan will be quite different from the one that helped the Whitecaps claim a Midwest League playoff berth in all three of DePastino's years there.
Ben Oglivie, a former Tiger (1974-77) who spent much of his career with Milwaukee, will be the Whitecaps' new hitting coach, while T.J. Saunders will take over as the team's new trainer. Mark Johnson will return for his fourth season as the team's pitching coach.
• Andrew Graham has been named manager of short-season Connecticut. Graham, a former catcher in the organization, most recently served as the Tigers' catching coordinator and as coach in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.
• Mike Rabelo was named a coach for the GCL Tigers. Rabelo spent eight seasons as a catcher with the organization, including parts of 2006-07 in the majors; last year he played 10 games for Triple-A Toledo in an injury-shortened season.