New manager leading the Mud Hens

Yaneek Smith

Press Sports Editor

As with any minor league team, turnover with the Toledo Mud Hens is very high
Whether it’s players retiring, getting called up to the Major League club or catching on with another team, change is the one constant in the minors.
The Mud Hens, who have changed managers quite frequently in recent years, named Anthony Iapoce the manager during the offseason. He previously worked for Boston for one season and was the hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers for three seasons apiece before that.
Pitcher Alex Faedo, who was selected in the first round by the Tigers six years ago, went 1-5 with a 5.53 ERA in 12 starts last season. If he pitches well, he’ll most certainly be called up by Detroit. He tried to earn a spot on the Tigers as a long reliever but gave up seven runs in 5.1 innings in Grapefruit League games. It’s now or never for him.
Pitcher Will Vest, who was drafted by the Tigers in 2017, went 3-3 with a 4.00 ERA, including two starts, last season in Detroit.
Shortstop Zach Short struggled mightily with Detroit two years ago, hitting just .141 in 156 at-bats. Last year, he had just nine at-bats with the Tigers.
Outfielder Parker Meadows, whose brother, Austin, plays for the Tigers, should make an appearance or two in Detroit. He was drafted by the Tigers in the second round five years ago. He hit .317 with five homers and 11 RBIs in just 41 at-bats for Detroit in Grapefruit League games.
Fellow outfielder Akil Baddoo has seen time in Toledo and Detroit for the past few seasons. In 2021, he hit .259 (.766 OPS) with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs with the Tigers, but regressed the next year, hitting just .204 (.558 OPS).
Infielder Tyler Nevin, who played for two years with Baltimore, was traded to Detroit in December. He is the son of former Tiger Phil Nevin, who also managed the Mud Hens for three seasons from 2011-13. (He is now the manager of the L.A. Angels.)
Another interesting player is Trevor Rosenthal, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2020. Currently on leave from the team, Rosenthal had a nice career as a closer, going 12-25 with a 3.36 ERA and 132 saves, primarily with St. Louis, and can hit triple digits on the radar gun.
Catcher Dillon Dingler, a second-round pick in 2020, tore his meniscus and underwent surgery, so he’ll be out for a while. He hit .238 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs last season in Double-A Erie.
The other players on the Tigers’ 40-man roster are (P) Tyler Hilton, (P) Reese Olson, (P) Brendan White, (C) Donny Sands, (INF) Andre Lipcius and (INF) Wenceel Perez.
Tarik Skubal, arguably the Tigers’ best pitcher, will see some time in Toledo when he is on a rehab assignment — possibly in June — and former No. 1 pick Casey Mize, if he’s able to return from Tommy John surgery, will see action in the Glass City.
At some point during the season, the Mud Hens could receive reinforcements from Double-A Erie in the form of Wilmer Flores, Colt Keith, Ty Madden, Adam Wolf, Dillon Dingler and others.


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