TOLEDO, OH – The Detroit Tigers and Toledo Mud Hens announced today that Anthony Iapoce (eye-uh-POH-see) has been hired as the 2023 manager of the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate Toledo Mud Hens. Iapoce becomes the tenth person to manage the Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field and the 58th in Toledo baseball history.
The 49-year-old from Astoria, NY worked last year as the senior hitting coordinator with the Boston Red Sox. Prior to that, he spent six years as a big-league hitting coach. Iapoce spent 2016 through 2018 in that role with the Texas Rangers before joining the Chicago Cubs and filling that role from 2019 through 2021. He has minor league experience as a minor league instructor for three seasons with the Cubs from 2013 through 2015.
“On behalf of the Mud Hens organization and the greatest fans in Minor League Baseball, we are thrilled to welcome Anthony to Toledo,” says Erik Ibsen, Toledo Mud Hens Executive Vice President and General Manager. “With his extensive Major League coaching experience, we look forward to his impact on the development and success of our team. Opening Day 2023 cannot get here soon enough.”
As a player, Iapoce was drafted by Milwaukee in the 33rd round of the 1994 MLB Draft. The former outfielder played nine seasons in the minor leagues that included parts of four seasons in AAA with Tucson, Louisville, Indianapolis, and Albuquerque. Combined, he appeared in 714 games during his playing career. Iapoce played college baseball at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and is one of just 87 players ever selected in the MLB Draft from the school.
Iapoce replaces Lloyd McClendon, who led the Hens to a record of 87-63 during the 2022 season.
The Mud Hens open the 2023 season at Fifth Third Field against the St. Paul Saints on Friday, March 31, 2023.
Mike Hessman returns to the Hens to take over as hitting coach, his fourth season in that role after spending the last year and a half with the Tigers as their assistant hitting coach. This will mark his eighth year as a hitting coach in the Tigers organization. Hessman holds the all-time record for Minor League and International League home runs, hitting a total of 433 home runs during his minor league career between 1996 and 2015 (184 with the Mud Hens). A member of the Mud Hens’ back-to-back Governors Cup Championship teams in 2005 and 2006, Hessman was inducted into the International League Hall of Fame in 2018 and…