Tigers confirm Ernie Young hire at West Michigan
The Tigers made official Thursday their hire for manager at Class A West Michigan. It’ll be ex-Tiger (albeit not a Tiger long) Ernie Young, a longtime former Minor Leaguer who’s building a wealth of experience managing in the farm system.
Joining Young at West Michigan is another ex-Tiger, Ben Ogilvie, as first reported by TigTown.com.
The Young move fills the opening created when Joe DePastino shifted into a teaching role as the organization’s roving catching instructor.
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.
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.