Tigers Promote Manager Nevin
DETROIT—In Phil Nevin's first season as manager at Double-A Erie, the SeaWolves lost their first eight games.
Believe it or not, that impressed his bosses in the Tigers organization—so much so, in fact, that Nevin was promoted to manage Triple-A Toledo when Larry Parrish left to become the Braves' major league hitting coach.
Well, that's not exactly true. What impressed the Tigers about Nevin was how the SeaWolves responded to that early losing streak, and other bumpy patches during a 66-76 season.
"Truth be told, that (losing streak) was one of the things that solidified our opinion," assistant general manager Al Avila said. "When they came out of that streak, they started winning a lot of games.
"Then we made a lot of changes later in the season—we gave him a brand-new team. That team had some growing pains, but that team started winning, too."
Nevin was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 draft by the Astros out of Cal State Fullerton, and he spent 12 seasons in the major leagues, including a couple of seasons with the Tigers. The 39-year-old Nevin said his career prepared him to deal with players in a variety of situations.
"I understand what they go through," Nevin said. "I understand how they're looked at in a little bit different way. But it's how they handle those things that maybe I can help a little bit.
"I didn't handle it very well when I was (a top draft pick), and that probably helps me out a little more with that."
Nevin said his managerial style has been influenced by a lot of different people.
"I played for a lot of different managers—and a lot of different guys I have great respect for," Nevin said.
"You take little bits and pieces away from all of them. Whether it was Sparky Anderson or Bruce Bochy or Buddy Bell, you take little pieces from all of them. And watching Jim Leyland now is something I'm ecstatic with—to sit and learn from a guy like him is quite an honor."
• The Tigers began to fill coaching jobs in the organization by adding Jerry Martin as Double-A hitting coach.
• Shorstop Cale Iorg batted .304/.381/.500 in 56 at-bats in the Arizona Fall League, prompting the Tigers to add him to the 40-man roster to shield him from the Rule 5 draft.