The Detroit Tigers recently announced the formal hires of the coaching staff to serve under new skipper Ron Gardenhire beginning in 2018. In terms of other coaching positions in the organization, there is an managerial vacancy down at Triple-A Toledo.
According to reports, the Tigers have filled that void and hired former big leaguer Doug Mientkiewicz to be the next manager of the Mud Hens.
Tigers set to hire Doug Mientkiewicz as Triple-A Toledo manager: https://t.co/MybWVmCK9W
— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) November 7, 2017
Mientkiewicz, 43 and a native of Toledo, carved out a solid 12-year career in the majors with seven different teams. Tigers fans should remember him from his days with the Minnesota Twins from 1998-2004. Mientkiewicz was a very adequate two-way player in the show, finishing with a career .271 batting average and .765 OPS. The long-time first baseman earned himself a Gold Glove in 2001.
Mientkiewicz played under then Twins manager Ron Gardenhire from 2002-04 before becoming a bit of a journeyman and playing for six other clubs. He got into coaching not long after calling it a career in 2009. He’s spent the last five seasons as a manager at multiple levels in the Twins’ organization.
#MiLB Coaching Record for Doug Mientkiewicz:
2013: 79-56 (FSL)
2014: 82-57 (FSL)
2015: 91-49 (AA)
2016: 75-65 (AA)
2017: 75-60 (FSL)
— Emily Waldon (@emilywaldon2080) November 7, 2017
Mientkiewicz will take over for Mike Rojas, who was relieved of his duties shortly after the 2017 season ended for Toledo. The Mud Hens finished 70-71 this season, their highest win total since 2010, but missed the playoffs for a tenth consecutive season. It was the second manager stint with Toledo for Rojas, after leading the team to an 82-61 record and the International League playoffs in 2007.
Mientkiewicz interviewed for the Twins managerial position after Gardenhire was let go following the 2014 season. That job ultimately went to Paul Molitor.
The reported new Mud Hens manager should be reasonably familiar with what the Tigers possess in terms of farm talent. Many of the organization’s top prospects have been at the lower levels over the last couple seasons and given the team’s rebuilding direction, he will have the luxury of working with them as early as next season.