11:37 am: The Tigers have officially announced the hirings of Fetter and Nieves. Additionally, quality control coach Josh Paul and base coach Ramon Santiago will return to the staff, per the team.
9:06 am: Detroit is also set to hire Juan Nieves as assistant pitching coach, reports Cody Stavenhagen of the Athletic (via Twitter). Previously a member of the White Sox, Red Sox and Marlins’ MLB staffs, Nieves had most recently been pitching coach for Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate in Toledo.
8:05 am: The Tigers are hiring Chris Fetter as their pitching coach, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network (Twitter link). The 34-year-old had been in the same position at the University of Michigan, one of the better Division I programs in the country. He’ll replace Rick Anderson, who had been on the Detroit staff since 2017 but was expected to depart after former manager Ron Gardenhire retired.
Fetter will become the first addition to new skipper A.J. Hinch’s staff in Detroit. He joins a growing rank of young, data-oriented pitching coaches making the jump from the top of the college ranks into pro ball. Reds’ pitching coach Derek Johnson was on the staff at Vanderbilt before taking a position in the Cubs’ system in 2012. He parlayed his stint as a Chicago minor-league pitching coordinator into eventual big league coaching jobs with the Brewers and Reds. Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson, meanwhile, made the jump directly from college to an MLB staff when he was hired away from the University of Arkansas in 2018.
Fetter himself interviewed for the Yankees’ pitching coach position last offseason. He also reportedly drew the attention of the Mets and Giants over the winter. He does have some experience coaching in pro ball, working in the Padres’ organization earlier this decade. As Morosi notes, that stint overlapped with Hinch’s time in the San Diego front office.
The hiring is also notable for one of the Tigers’ divisional rivals. Morosi points out that some in the White Sox’s front office thought he’d be the best fit for their pitching coach vacancy. Instead, he’ll take the same position in Detroit, where he’ll be tasked with guiding the development of top young arms like Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Matt Manning.