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Mientkiewicz officially named Hens manager

The Detroit Tigers and Toledo Mud Hens announced Thursday that Doug Mientkiewicz would be the team’s manager in 2018.

The announcement makes official reports that surfaced more than a week ago about Mientkiewicz, who was born in Toledo, coming to Fifth Third Field to manage the Hens this coming season.

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Doug Mientkiewicz begins to celebrate after catching the final out of the 2004 World Series while with the Boston Red Sox. Mientkiewicz was formally named the new Mud Hens manager Thursday.

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Mientkiewicz replaces Mike Rojas, who was 70-71 last year; Rojas also managed the Hens in 2007 and led them to their most recent playoff berth by winning the International League West Division title with an 82-61 record.

Toledo has suffered eight consecutive losing seasons, the longest streak in the IL. The Mud Hens’ stretch of missing the playoffs 10 years in a row is the league’s second-longest streak.

The 43-year-old Mientkiewicz has spent five seasons as a manager in the Minnesota Twins organization, posting a 385-299 career record with the High Single-A Fort Myers Miracle from 2013-14 and 2017 as well as the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts in 2015-16. He won a Southern League title with the Lookouts in 2015.

Mientkiewicz spent 12 years in the majors as a first baseman, playing primarily with Minnesota but also spending time with Boston, the New York Mets, Kansas City, the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his final three years with the Twins (2002-04), his manager was Ron Gardenhire, who recently was named the Tigers’ new manager, replacing Brad Ausmus.

“We’re very excited to add Doug Mientkiewicz to the Tigers organization as the new manager at Triple-A Toledo,” Dave Littlefield, Detroit Tigers vice president of player development, said in a release. “After a 12-year major league playing career, Mientkiewicz has transitioned into a successful manager at the minor league level, leading his teams to the postseason in four of the last five seasons.

“We’re confident that Doug will bring his strong player development background and winning mentality with him to Toledo.”

Mientkiewicz becomes the seventh manager to lead the Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field and the 55th manager in Toledo baseball history.

“It’s great to have Doug take over as manager with his vast playing and coaching experience,” Erik Ibsen, Mud Hens executive vice president and general manager, said in a release. “Plus, with his Toledo roots, he has an instant connection with our community and fans.”

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com419-724-6481, or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.

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