Detroit Tigers coaching staff: Lloyd McClendon, Dave Clark could return

By Anthony Fenech

Tribune News Service

The Detroit Tigers’ new coaching staff is taking shape.

Behind the scenes, those on board with veteran manager Ron Gardenhire have been determined. It’s likely the team is waiting until the conclusion of the World Series to make a formal announcement, but here is where the staff stands:

Chris Bosio comes highly regarded from the Cubs as pitching coach, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation. Bosio spent the past six seasons with the Cubs, working with 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta and the second- and third-place finishers in 2016, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks, respectively.

The Minnesota Star-Tribune reported two longtime Gardenhire confidantes will be joining him in Detroit: Joe Vavra, who will serve as the Tigers’ first-ever quality control coach, and Rick Anderson, who will serve as bullpen coach.

As quality control coach, Vavra will fill a hybrid role of sorts which has yet to be announced by the team. He worked under Gardenhire for 13 seasons in Minnesota, most recently as bench coach under manager Paul Molitor. Anderson was Gardenhire’s longtime pitching coach with the Twins.

Two members of last year’s coaching staff will be retained, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation, though their roles have yet to be announced. One is likely to be Lloyd McClendon, who has served a number of roles within the Tigers’ organization for the better part of a decade. McClendon most recently was the team’s hitting coach. Given his vast experience, comfort level with the players and overall baseball acumen, he would be a wise selection to remain with the team. McClendon and Gardenhire have known each other for years: The two came up together as players in the Mets organization.

The second holdover could be Dave Clark, who served as third base coach for the past four seasons under manager Brad Ausmus, or perhaps defensive coordinator Matt Martin, though in theory, Martin’s work could be done by Vavra in the team’s newly created role. Longtime bench coach Gene Lamont is not returning, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, and first base coach Omar Vizquel has been informed he will not be retained, he said on Monday night.

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