Major League Hire
Tigers tap Nevin to manage Double-A Erie
DETROIT—There weren't many openings on the Tigers' roster of minor league coaches this offseason and Detroit decided to choose a former Tiger to fill the biggest opening, that of Double-A Erie's manager.
Phil Nevin, who played for Detroit from 1995-97, will replace Tom Brookens as manager of the SeaWolves. Brookens was promoted to the parent club to serve as first-base coach.
Tigers farm director Glenn Ezell was a coach in 1996 and saw Nevin's development first hand.
"He grew up as a player when he came to us—he figured out what it took (to be a baseball player)," Ezell said. "When we interviewed him (for this job), he told us, 'I don't have to do this. I want to do this.' And when I heard him say that, I knew he was sincere."
Nevin's lone experience as a manager came this past season, when he managed the Orange County Flyers in the independent Golden League.
"We talked about (his lack of experience) to him, and he talked about the experience he gained this season that helped him prepare for this job," Ezell said. "We're just so pleased to have such a tremendous guy stepping into our organization."
The only other opening on the coaching staffs for Detroit's full-season minor league teams was for a hitting coach at low Class A West Michigan. Luis Quinones was promoted from short-season Oneonta to fill that spot.
And Ezell said he takes great comfort in that continuity.
"Our (minor league) staff is absolutely solid," Ezell said. "Their main goal and drive is to get players major league ready.
"When I or our rovers leave town, we don't worry about whether something is going to happen. We can trust that it's going to get done."
• The only addition to the Tigers' staff of roving instructors was Andrew Graham, who will join the club as the catching coordinator and coach for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Tigers. Graham is a former catcher in Detroit's system.
• Infielder Ron Bourquin was suspended 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Bourquin will serve his suspension in the first 50 games of the coming season. A second-round pick by the Tigers in 2006, Bourquin split time between Double-A Erie and West Michigan last year.