The Tigers rounded out their Minor League coaching staffs on Monday, when the club announced it has hired Chris Cron to manage at Double-A Erie and Dave Huppert to serve as the manager at Class A Lakeland. Cron joins the Tigers organization after managing the past 16 seasons in the Minor League systems of the Chicago White Sox (1995-99, 2003-10) and Colorado Rockies (2000-02). Cron spent 12 years playing professional baseball before he began his managing career. He's guided his club to the postseason seven times, including leading his Great Falls team to the Pioneer League championship in 2008. He was also named Manager of the Year in the Carolina League in 1998 and the Pioneer League in 2010. Cron will be the third manager at Erie in the past three years and the fourth in five years. Phil Nevin was the manager at Erie last season, but he was promoted to manage Triple-A Toledo for the 2011 season.
Huppert will be entering his first season managing in the Tigers organization. He has managed 21 seasons at the Minor League level with the Milwaukee Brewers (1986-91), Chicago White Sox (1994-97), Florida Marlins (1999-2001), Montreal Expos (2002-04) and Philadelphia Phillies (2006-10). Huppert, who played 10 seasons of pro baseball, led Class A Lakewood to the South Atlantic League championship in 2006 and Class A Clearwater to the Florida State League championship in 2007. The moves now mean that the Tigers will have a new manager at every one of their Minor League affiliates teams, from short-season Class A ball on, up for the 2011 season. The Tigers also announced that Andy Barkett, who managed at Lakeland for the past three seasons, has joined the Florida Marlins organization to serve as their manager at Double-A Jacksonville in 2011. Barkett would have been a candidate for managing spot at Erie, but taking the job at Jacksonville allowed him to stay near his Florida home while still providing him with a promotion.