Minor-league coaching updates

The Tigers have become known for giving former players a shot at managing with minor-league posts, from Bruce Fields in the 1990s to Tom Brookens, Matt Walbeck and Phil Nevin more recently. Ernie Young wasn’t a Tigers player for long, and he already has a few years of managerial experience, but he’s set to be the next ex-Tigers player to manage.

The Tigers normally don’t announce their Minor League coaching staffs until they’re just about set at every level, and that hasn’t happened yet. But they have an opening to fill at low Class A West Michigan, after Joe DePastino shifted into a teaching role as the organization’s roving catching instructor.

AOL FanHouse reported over the weekend that Young, a longtime Minor League veteran who spent 2003 in the Tigers system, will take over. No final hire has been made, according to a team source, but unless something falls through, all signs point to Young getting the job.

It would not be a first chance. Young managed in the White Sox organization the last two years at Class A Kannapolis, and just finished a stint last week managing Team USA in the Pan Am Games qualifying tournament. His hitting coach for Team USA: Leon “Bull” Durham, his hitting coach as a player at Triple-A Toledo in 2003 and still the Mud Hens hitting coach.

Young went 2-for-11 in his brief stint as a Tiger that year, one of 17 seasons he spent in pro ball. He made it to the big leagues one more time, with the Indians in 2004, before retiring after the 2007 season.

Joining Young at West Michigan could be another ex-Tiger, Ben Ogilvie. TigsTown.com reported Ogilvie is expected to be named the Whitecaps’ hitting coach.

DePastino’s move is not being taken necessarily as a demotion. Speculation pointed towards a change back in August when another former Tiger, Kevin Hooper, told the Wichita Eagle he had been offered the West Michigan job. At that point, the Whitecaps were rallying towards a wild card spot in the Midwest League playoffs, making them the only Tigers affiliate to reach the postseason.

“My new job is one I’ve always wanted,” DePastino told the Grand Rapids Press. “I’ve been a catcher my whole life, and while I love managing, being with the catchers full time is a good gig.”

Andrew Graham was the roving catching instructor this season, but he’s expected to move into a full-time coaching role, possibly a managerial post.

4 Comments

Any chance that Bull Durham would ever be considered for hitting coach with the big club?
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I was right impressed with the Rangers during the regular season, but they’ve taken it to the next level here in the postseason. They’re displaying a perfect combination of speed, aggressiveness, and power, combined with good pitching. It’s all working for Ron Washington right now. I’d like to see them advance to the WS because I’m enjoying watching them. I hope that game one meltdown doesn’t come back to haunt them.
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If you’re like me, you get a little smile everytime Marcus Thames is on camera.
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–Rich

The Rangers seem to have a history of power hitting as well as Toronto. Well, the Rangers finally have the pitching to complement it. It has been a joy watching this series between the Yanks and Rangers. Yes, I also smile when I see Marcus. He’s sure had a good year and Girardi sure knows how to use him.
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I loved the double steal. Can you ever imagine the Tigers playing that kind of ball? The ALCS isn’t over yet, but it has been enjoyable to watch.

Ditto on Marcus. I have a hard time rooting for any Yankees, but I will root for individual accomplishments for Marcus and Curtis. Go Rangers.

I agree I will always pull for Marcus & Grandy but I hate the Yankees and their fair weather fans. As mentioned earlier watching them scatter as the Rangers pulled away in games #3 & 4 shows their true colors. They are on board as long as the Yankees are winning but abandon ship when adversity strikes.
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As for the Worls Series I think the Rangers are definitely in but I’m not sold on the Giants just yet. I think it’s going to be a long NLCS. As for the ALC it’s over today. Only thing that could hurt the Rangers is the layoff before game #1 of the World Series. Brings back bad memories of our Tigers in 2006 as they blitzed through the first 2 rounds only to lose all their momentum heading into the WS.
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With that said the playoffs have shown us some excellent baseball & how the game is supposed to be played.
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Joe

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