January 30th, 2014

Tigers look to Lance Parrish to manage at Erie

What began as an ill-timed managerial opening in the Tigers farm system just before Spring Training is now shaping up to be an opportunity to bring a former Tiger back into the organization. Tigers officials were in talks with former catcher and coach Lance Parrish to take over as manager at Double-A Erie.

Credit the Detroit News with the initial report. A deal and an announcement could come by the end of the week, possibly as early as Thursday.

The move would solve an opening that was becoming a challenge for the Tigers to fill. Parrish would replace Chris Cron, who left about there weeks ago to take over as minor-league hitting coordinator for the Arizona Diamondbacks, a move that kept him closer to home. He managed at Erie for the last four seasons.

Though the Tigers had in-house candidates such as minor league hitting coordinator Bruce Fields and Class A Lakeland manager Dave Huppert, neither was interested in leaving their current posts. With those options closed, Dave Dombrowski said Saturday at TigerFest that they would most likely fill the post from outside the system.

Also at TigerFest, coincidentally, was Parrish, one of the former Tigers brought back for the event along with former reliever Mike Henneman. Parrish had been looking to get back in the game after two seasons managing in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system in 2006 (Ogden, Utah at rookie level Pioneer League) and 2007 (Great Lakes Loons in Midwest League).

Before those seasons, Parrish spent three years on Alan Trammell’s staff in Detroit, serving as bullpen coach.

The opportunity to return to his old organization presented itself on short notice.

The difficulty in filling the job at Erie isn’t for lack of talent. The team returns the makings of a solid pitching staff, including starting prospect Drew VerHagen and Warwick Saupold and closer Melvin Mercedes, and is expected to add positional prospects such as second baseman Devon Travis and outfielder Steven Moya.