Lloyd McClendon to be hitting coach

Jim Leyland has decided to move Lloyd McClendon in to the hitting coach vacancy that was created when Don Slaught resigned. McClendon of course served as bullpen coach last year and spent 4 years as the Pirates hitting coach.

Jeff Jones will be promoted from Toledo to assume the role of bullpen coach. Jones had considerable success working with Wil Ledezma and Zach Miner last year. This will be his 5th stint as Tigers bullpen coach.

Britt Burns will be promoted from A Lakeland to take Jones spot in Toledo and former Tiger Joe Coleman will assume pitching coach duties in Lakeland.

24 Comments

  1. Chris Y.

    November 9, 2006 at 2:30 pm

    I guess I’m more than a little underwhelmed by making a career .244/.325/.381 hitter our hitting coach. Might as well have made Neifi the hitting coach.

    Any idea if he had any success in the same role in Pittsburgh?

  2. Kurt

    November 9, 2006 at 2:35 pm

    I actually begin with the question, is there a proven correlation between hitting success as a player and hitting success of players coached?

    Just because he didn’t have overwhelming physical ability shouldn’t mean he has no coaching ability.

  3. Coach Jim

    November 9, 2006 at 3:39 pm

    I agree that being a good hitter, and being a good hitting coach are 2 totally seperate tasks. Charlie Lau is regarded as one of the great hitting coaches of all time and he boasts .255 / .318 / .365 career marks. As I said earlier this week, the major league hitting coach is more of a scout than an instructor. I am neutral about Lloyd in that position…wait and see.

    Jeff Jones being promoted to bullpen coach bothers me. He was a HUGE asset as AAA pitching coach. I’m worried that we will lose that and not gain much by having him at the major league level. This is not a rag on Jeff. I think he may be the best-ever AAA pitching coach, and I want him filling that role. I don’t know that a bullpen coach needs to have any special skills. I’m not even sure what their responsibility is beyond answering the phone and getting relievers warm. They can clock pitches and tell the manager if a guy has sharp control that day or not. It’s obviously not a pitching coach type position since Lloyd filled the spot last year and Lance Parrish the years before that. Let’s see if our minor-league pitching falls apart because of Jeff’s promotion to obscurity.

  4. Joshua M.

    November 9, 2006 at 6:12 pm

    Am I the only person getting a little tired of Leylands loyalty to the Pirates??? This is the Detroit Tigers so I am a little bit upset that McClendon got this job. I mean if there were no other opyions fine, but for the last few years we have been sending our major league players to AAA to get their swing right with the help of Leon “Bull” Durham. Passing over him does 2 things….1 it makes it so when McClendon cant help our hitters we have to send them to AAA and 2 When Bull gets a job offer with another organization even if its a lateral move I think he takes it. He now knows he has reached the top of his ladder in Detroit and my guess is he wants to coach in the Majors

  5. andy in wb

    November 10, 2006 at 12:39 am

    i think this move makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons…1 it puts legendary lloyd back in his comfortable job…2 it keeps the bull helping AAA hitters make it to the bigs and 3 it let’s jones keep working with the same group of pitchers that he’s worked with the last couple of years, (cept verlander, zumaya and miller) and that’s why they moved burns. and let’s face it, bullpen coach has less to do than first base coach. the bullpen catcher can answer any questions about control, velocity and movement any pitcher has when warming up…..so yes josh, in my opinion, yer the only person getting tired of the magician

  6. andy in wb

    November 10, 2006 at 12:47 am

    and speaking of players that went on to manage or coach, the only good player to be a coach i can think of was don mattingly. sparky, leyland, larussa, torre, guillen, roger craig (the best pitching coach ever), tracewski etc etc….all were sub par (to say the least) ball players. the good ones went into announcing….not as much travel or away time from family. the best mlb hitter on the tigers coaching staff is van slyke, followed by belliard, and they didn’t get the job either.

  7. Jeff

    November 10, 2006 at 11:25 am

    This doesn’t refute anybody’s argument, but you can’t lump Torre into the group of managers/coaches who weren’t any good. He was a career .297 hitter and was 1971 NL MVP. Batted .300 in five seasons and knocked in 100+ five times. He’s probably one of the more solid players who have also had success managing.

  8. Walewander

    November 10, 2006 at 12:54 pm

    This is unrelated, but JD Drew opted out of his contract with LA. He certainly fits the Tigers needs of a lefty bat with power and patience. Whaddya youse guys think?

  9. charlie

    November 10, 2006 at 1:12 pm

    you talk about association with leyland…sheffield is a good bet right now to become a tiger…and if he is healthy there is the bat in the middle of the order we need. i think we need a shortstop and guillen fills the hole at first. spend some money for that move and not only do we get better defensively…another good bat in the lineup. if the pitching holds next year….could be another fun year.

  10. Joey C.

    November 10, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    Walewander, you know how some people say that they wouldn’t follow the Tigers if they signed Bonds to a contract? That’s the way I feel about JD Drew.

    Okay, that’s an exageration, but I do loath that guy. He’s overpaid as it is. He’s constantly hurt. He only hit 20 homeruns last year. Look at his numbers compared to Monroe’s–he clearly has an edge in OBP (about 90 points higher) and BA (30 points higher), but Monroe hit 8 more homeruns and their RBI and SLG are comparable.

    Tell me how 11 million a year isn’t enough dough for a guy with Drew’s numbers? Especially when you factor in that he is constantly injured. He’s a career malcontent who only looks forward to the big money grab. I don’t have any time for a guy like that, and I don’t want him on my team. I think he brings more negatives to the table than positives and I certainly don’t think he’s worth a multi-year in excess of 10 mil a year.

  11. Joey C.

    November 10, 2006 at 1:39 pm

    Charlie, rumor central has us closing in on Sheff. I can’t say I’m too excited about that either.

    First off it doesn’t address our need for lefty hitting. Second, who are we going to have to give up to get this 38 year old man who’s coming off of injury? Third, where do we put him? Our outfield is crowded enough as it is. Especially when you consider that Maybin may force himself onto the roster before we’re all expecting.

    I suppose that you could platoon him and Maggs between right and DH.

    If we’re going to make a trade, I’d rather see us trade for a corner infielder with some power. I’m still dreaming of Teixeira–but I’d hate to lose Bonderman.

  12. Kyle J

    November 10, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    I’m afraid that meeting the need for a big-time middle-of-the-order bat is probably going to require adding someone with ego issues. On the one hand, it saddens me that Detroit’s status as a team full of solid character guys may be ending. On the other hand, I think it’s an inevitable consequence of Illitch increasing payroll to try to get the Tigers into the category of perennial contender.

    Re: Sheffield: The one thing I’ll say about him is that he has perhaps the most imposing plate presence of any hitter in recent years with the way he waves that bat, like he’s just itching for the pitch to arrive so he can hammer it somewhere.

  13. Walewander

    November 10, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    Joey, I share some of your issues about to Drew, but if you don’t think he’d be a major upgrade over any of our OFs (If healthy… I know) you’re insane. And since when have we been a team full of character guys? Kenny, Pudge, Dmitri, even C-Mo all have checkered histories. As Neil Young once sang, ‘Some are saints, and some are jerks…. they’re ordinary people.’

  14. Joey C.

    November 10, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    I don’t think our team is full of character guys, but JD Drew has done enough to prove himself an exceptional jerk, and I don’t think he provides enough of an upgrade to warrant paying out more than 11 mil a season. Do you? Because that’s what he’s after. And I can’t just overlook the injury issue.

    The guy is overpaid NOW. Why on earth would anyone want to pay him more than that?

  15. Joey C.

    November 10, 2006 at 4:30 pm

    Kyle I totally agree with you on the imposing presence of Sheffield. He has, without a doubt, the quickest bat I’ve ever seen. It would certainly be fun watching him bat day in and day out.

  16. Walewander

    November 10, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    According to SI.com, we just acquired Sheffield for Sanchez and two others…

  17. Walewander

    November 10, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    More:

    The Yankees and Tigers have agreed on a Gary Sheffield trade, SI.com has learned.

    In return, the Yankees will acquire highly touted right-hander Humberto Sanchez and Class A pitchers Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett, according to a Tigers source.

    The Tigers will extend Sheffield’s contract for two years beyond the one year and $13 million remaining.

    Sheffield reunites with manager Jim Leyland and GM Dave Dombrowski, who were all a part of the 1997 world champion Florida Marlins.

  18. Jeff M

    November 10, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    I just heard (second-hand) that Sheffield is a done deal. Humberto Sanchez + two other minor league pitchers. Not sure if the contract is being reworked. I hope so.

  19. Jeff M

    November 10, 2006 at 4:50 pm

  20. Joshua M.

    November 10, 2006 at 6:51 pm

    Andy re read my post cause I never said I was tired of Leyland as a manager that would make me insane to say the least. I love the guy and what he did for us this year. What I said was I was tired of him being so loyal to the Pirates. I can even understand it to some point, but the point I was making was by passing over the bull you are pretty much telling him he has peaked in our organization and that could cause him to go to another organization. So instead of having two hitting coaches at the major league level which if we had promoted the bull we would have had with him and McClendon. We now have the chance to lose the bull altogether.

  21. Andy in WB

    November 10, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    Josh, I didn’t mean to imply that you were turning against Leyland as a manager, I only meant to say that, “yes, you’re the only guy tired of his Pittsburgh loyalties”. Those are the coaches he’s worked with and been successful with, why change what works? Being a manager myself, (albeit in the restaurant industry) for over 20 years, I will always take a former employee that I know is capable over one that I haven’t worked with.

    No offense intended.

  22. Andy in WB

    November 11, 2006 at 12:12 am

    Also Josh…
    Please rethink your theory, Leon “Bull” Durham spent his entire career being the overlooked guy behind Gary Mathews and Andre Dawson. I think he likes his role with the tigers, he gets a chance to help young players develop into major league hitters.
    Do you think that Mags would’ve taken Bull’s advice early in the season to try and hit the ball to right field? When Edgar Martinez told him to do that he listened. (btw another great hitter that’s now a hitting coach, missed that one)
    And thank you for pointing out my Torre miscue, but my point was made

  23. Joshua M.

    November 11, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    andy none taken, but that is a curious thing about him always being overlooked. It just seems like he would want to be a hitting coach in the majors. If not then I understand the McClendon signing I wasnt implying he wasnt qualified just that I thought Bull should have gotten the job

  24. Andy in WB

    November 13, 2006 at 11:47 pm

    josh, along that same line of thought, one would think don slaught was crazy to step away from the job, until you hear his reasons why. i never meant any acrimony towards you josh, i like to debate baseball, but i think bull is more important to the tigers in toledo, and i think the tigers and bull feel the same.