The Tigers announced their Minor League coaching assignments for the 2017 season Tuesday, confirming a previously announced change at the managerial position for Triple-A Toledo.
Mike Rojas, who managed the Mud Hens to the International League title in 2007, will return to manage Toledo again in '17, replacing new Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McLendon. Rojas spent 10 years as a coach in the Tigers' organization from '04-13 before working as the Mariners' bullpen coach from '14-15.
Rojas will be flanked by former Major Leaguer Brian Harper, who replaces new Tigers assistant hitting coach Leon Durham to coach the Mud Hens' hitters, along with returning coaches Jeff Pico (pitching), Basilio Cabrera (third base), Fred Murphy (strength and conditioning) and athletic trainer Chris McDonald.
Other changes include the addition of Gerald Laird, a 12-year big league catcher who spent the 2009-10 and '12 seasons with Detroit, to debut as manager for the Class A Short-Season Connecticut Tigers of the New York-Penn League. Mike Rabelo, the former manager for Connecticut, has moved over to manage the Class A West Michigan Whitecaps.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.