As the Detroit Tigers embark on a search for a new manager, Phil Nevin is emerging as a top candidate.
With a nine-game losing streak entering Thursday and 100 losses in play if they make it a baker’s dozen, the Detroit Tigers are clearly checked out . Manager Brad Ausmus has already been told he won’t be back next year, so general manager Al Avila can presumably get some sort of head start on a search for a new manager.
There are some solid internal candidates to be considered, including hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, third base coach Dave Clark and first base coach Omar Vizquel. But another familiar face is surfacing as a candidate. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, San Francisco Giants third base coach Phil Nevin has become a “strong candidate” for the Tigers job.
Nevin was the No. 1 pick in the 1992 MLB draft after a nice college career at Cal State Fullerton, five picks ahead of some kid named Derek Jeter. After playing 12 major league seasons for seven teams, he spent three-plus seasons managing in the Tigers organization (in Double-A and Triple-A) and then three more years managing the Arizona Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate (2014-2016).
Nevin has previously interviewed for major league managerial openings with the Washington Nationals, San Diego Padres, Miami Marlins, Houston Astros and the Diamondbacks. After losing out on the Arizona job to Torey Lovullo after last year, Nevin joined his former manager Bruce Bochy’s staff in San Francisco.
As a relatively young man (46 years old), but with experience managing in the minors, it’s not surprising that the Tigers probably see Nevin as a candidate to cultivate their youth movement on the field. He certainly isn’t the biggest name being attached to the opening though, by rumors perhaps more than reality, with Ozzie Guillen and Ron Gardenhire vying for that title.
But if the Tigers really want a fresh voice in the dugout, Nevin or someone like him should be their next manager.