Manager Larry Parrish headed back to the Toledo Mud Hens along with Leon “Bull” Durham and A.J. Sager.
The Hens have announced their field staff for the 2009 season at Fifth Third Field. The Hens have won the International League West Division in three of the last four seasons (2005, 2006, and 2007).
The 2005 Sporting News Manager of the Year, Parrish, returns to Triple-A Toledo for his sixth season as the Mud Hens’ skipper. Parrish’s coaching staff will once again include hitting coach, Durham and pitching coach, Sager. Matt Rankin will serve as the athletic trainer for the ninth straight season.
Parrish missed the entire 2007 season as he recovered from ankle surgery performed on April 4, 2007. In his fifth season with the Mud Hens in 2008, Parrish guided the team to a 75-69 record. Toledo finished with a winning record for the fourth consecutive season – the first time that has happened since 1941-44.
Parrish enters his 18th season in the Detroit organization and has a 630-613 (.507 winning percentage) record during that span. The 55-year-old Parrish played 19 seasons of professional baseball including 15 major league seasons. Parrish was named to the All-Star team in 1979 & 1987 and hit 20 or more home runs five times during his career.
Sager will return to Toledo as pitching coach for his second season with the Mud Hens. The former Tiger pitcher will be entering his eighth season as a coach in the Detroit organization.
The 43-year-old was the pitching coach with Double-A Erie in 2007 and Single-A West Michigan from 2002-06. As a pro, Sager pitched for 12 seasons from 1988-99 with the following organizations: San Diego, Colorado, Detroit and Cincinnati. In 123 overall major league appearances, Sager posted a 12-15 record with a 5.36 ERA and five saves.
Sager pitched for the Mud Hens for parts of the 1996 and 1998 seasons, compiling a record of 2-2 with an ERA of 2.76 (19 ER/62.0 IP) in 32 games (two starts). Sager now makes his home in Perrysburg.
Durham returns for his ninth season as hitting coach and his 14th season in coaching. Durham spent the first five seasons of his coaching career with the Los Angeles Angels organization. Selected by St. Louis in the first round of the 1976 draft, the 51-year-old played 19 seasons of professional baseball.
Durham was named to the National League All-Star team in 1982 and 1983 and hit 20 or more home runs on five occasions. He was also honored by the Sporting News’ to the Silver Slugger team following the 1982 season after posting a career-high .312 average.
The 2009 home opener is April 16 vs. Columbus at 5:30 p.m.