Lance Parrish named new Whitecaps manager

Lance Parrish
Detroit Tigers minor league coach Lance Parrish is seen during pre-game warmups of a spring training exhibition baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Lakeland, Fla., Monday, March 9, 2015.

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Former Detroit Tigers catcher Lance Parrish will be the next manager of the West Michigan Whitecaps.

Parrish comes to West Michigan following four years as manager of the Tigers’ Double-A Erie (Pennsylvania) SeaWolves. He won more than 250 games there, the Whitecaps said in a Tuesday afternoon release.

“Heading into our 25th season, we are thrilled to have one of the most iconic Detroit Tigers represent the Whitecaps in Lance Parrish,” said Whitecaps vice president and general manager Jim Jarecki said in a statement. “Lance’s experience and ability to develop young players have us looking forward to 2018.”

Parrish was drafted to the Tigers 16th overall in 1974. He played in Detroit for a decade, during which time he was named an All-Star six times. The season the Tigers won the World Series in 1984, he had 33 home runs. He was also a coach with the Tigers for six seasons and was the first manager of the Midland-based Great Lakes Loons in 2007.

He will take over for Mike Rabelo, who was named the 2017 Midwest League Manager of the Year in his first year with the Whitecaps. Rabelo is headed to the Lakeland Flying Tigers. As part of the Tigers’ minor-league managerial shakeup, Lakeland manager Andrew Graham, who also previously managed the Whitecaps, will be the new manager of the SeaWolves.

The Whitecaps’ first game of the 2018 season is scheduled for April 5 versus the South Bend Cubs at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park.

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