Chuck Hernandez fired

The Tigers announced after today’s game that pitching coach Chuck Hernandez and bullpen coach Jeff Jones have been let go.

The Tigers pitching was dreadful this year and someone was going to take the hit. I don’t know that firing Hernandez is going to instantly make the staff better, but keeping him around this season certainly didn’t seem to help.

The coach relationship is always kind of a fuzzy thing to evaluate because as fans we really don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. So the best we can do is judge based on the results on the field, and outside of Armando Galarraga and to a lesser extent Bobby Seay, there wasn’t a lot of stuff to put in the positive column this year.

To be fair, Hernandez was the pitching coach over that wonderful 2006 staff that saw career years for Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson and a dominant bullpen. But things have gone down hill, and rapidly so, ever since.

In addition to a 3rd worst league ERA, there were some other things that at the very least go into the questionable column. Chief among them was Justin Verlander dismal year. There was much tweaking of mechanics but it never led to results. Also, there was the matter of Jeremy Bonderman’s elbow last year. An injury he pitched poorly with, and yet managed to hide from the coaching and medical staffs.

To Hernandez’s credit, he didn’t seem to be a believer in abusing the young arms that he had and there wasn’t a clear case of injury due to abuse.

One thing I won’t miss however is when pitchers hold a runner on with that whole, snap the ball out of the glove and hold it over your head thing.

Jeff Jones presided over a bullpen that continually struggled. Jones was the pitching coach at Toledo before getting the promotion when Don Slaught left the staff after the 2006 season. He’s been up and down within the organization in the past, and I could see him continuing to be in the employ of the Tigers.

I’m sure we’ll hear quotes from the pitchers about how Hernandez was great, and how it wasn’t his fault. That’s all well and good, but it became clear that changes need to be made in the pitching staff, and with 5 starters with favorable club control contract status or under long term contracts, it is obvious that the change is going to come at the top.

13 thoughts on “Chuck Hernandez fired”

  1. hire Rogers as the pitching coach and Todd Jones as the bullpen coach..both know how to make the most out of what you have

  2. I almost wonder if the Rogers influence was part of the problem for some of our young guys…JV, Robertson & Bondo would all get into trouble at times in trying to nibble at the strike zone instead of attacking hitters. The result was often high pitch counts and favorable hitting counts.
    They need to go out and get a guy with a track record of developing young arms.
    Mark Wiley?

  3. All I’ve seen the last two years is Chuck over tweak mechanics which has lead to crappy pitching. Is there a chance AJ Sager (I think that’s his name, the Mud Hens pitching coach) might get the job? He seems to do a pretty good job down there.

    Also, the conspiracy theorist in me thinks Jim was crying last night ’cause he got word from above that Chuck would be fired after Sunday.

  4. I think I remember seeing several times that Hernandez’s philosophy was to pitch exclusively away to righties. Seems like this was responsible for all the comfortable at-bats I’ve seen this tear. With Kenny and Nate presumably not in the rotation next year, it seems like a good time to get a more aggressive pitching coach. I’m not even going to pretend that I know enough to name anyone I’d like to see, but there has to be a good choice out there.

  5. It was time for Hernandez to go. The life a pitching coach is usually short with a given organization since it usually only takes one bad year to lose your job. The Tigers clearly need to head in another direction, should be interesting to see who they go after.

  6. this seasons failures were not Chuck’s fault …that being said not one of the 2006 pitchers where Chuck was king of the world pitching coach is better in 2008 NOT ONE……he has to go

  7. “They need to go out and get a guy with a track record of developing young arms”

    I developed 2 young arms myself. Maybe I could help.

  8. I hear Leo Mazzone is looking for work.Look what he did for the Braves for all those years.He has my vote!

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