Andrew Graham will return as manager of the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2015, the Detroit Tigers announced today. It will be his second season at the team’s helm.
He led the 2014 Whitecaps to an 82-58 record and a Midwest League playoff berth, the team’s first since 2010. The Fort Wayne TinCaps eliminated them from the playoffs in the first round.
“Andrew Graham provides great leadership and a respectful passion for the game,” Jim Jarecki, Whitecaps vice president of baseball operations, said in a press release. “He has a positive presence both on and off the field, and that makes the players strive for improvement every game, which is so important at this level.
“Andrew continues to make great strides as a manager,” Jarecki added. “The Whitecaps were energized by his presence and it showed on the field with the run to the playoffs. Getting the word that Andrew is coming back to West Michigan in 2015 is great for the fans and the players.”
Graham was a Whitecaps catcher in 2004 and 2005. He batted .219 with 1 HR and 19 RBI in 183 at-bats.
Mark Johnson, who served as West Michigan’s pitching coach from 2008 to 2012, will return in that same capacity in 2015. He spent the last two seasons with Detroit’s short-season Class-A team, the Connecticut Tigers.
Phil Clark will be West Michigan’s hitting coach in 2015. It will be his first year coaching in the Tigers organization after spending eight seasons as a hitting coach in the Cleveland Indians system.