DETROIT -- Ron Gardenhire will have a lot of familiar coaches in the dugout with him at Comerica Park next season. While the new Tigers manager is keeping Lloyd McClendon and Dave Clark on his staff, he also brings back a familiar name for Tigers fans, and hired a few
DETROIT -- Ron Gardenhire will have a lot of familiar coaches in the dugout with him at Comerica Park next season. While the new Tigers manager is keeping Lloyd McClendon and Dave Clark on his staff, he also brings back a familiar name for Tigers fans, and hired a few names from his previous managerial stint in Minnesota.
The Tigers announced the hires on Thursday, their first news of baseball's official offseason.
"I'm thrilled about the coaching staff we've been able to assemble," Gardenhire said in a release. "Collectively, this group has extensive playing and coaching experience at both the Major and Minor League levels, and has a proven track record of developing young players."
Not only will McClendon and Clark remain on the staff, they'll keep their roles. McClendon returned last season for his second stint as the Tigers' hitting coach, and it'll be his ninth season in the role and his 10th year as a Tigers coach dating back to his tenure on Jim Leyland's staff.
Clark, meanwhile, will remain the Tigers' third-base coach for the fifth season. He was one of Brad Ausmus' first hires upon being named manager after the 2013 season and joined the staff from Houston.
"Lloyd and Dave, who were both here previously, stood out when looking at the pool of available candidates, and I'm really excited to have them continue to develop our players," Gardenhire said.
Two first-time coaches join the staff, but Ramon Santiago has plenty of experience as a Tiger from his playing days in Detroit. The former utility infielder, who became a fan favorite over the course of 10 seasons as a Tiger, rejoins the organization as first-base coach. He was part of three division titles in Detroit from 2011-13. The 38-year-old officially retired as a player last month after continuing his career in the Dominican Winter League the last two years.
Also putting on a Tigers uniform again is Phil Clark, a former first-round Draft pick who made his big league debut wearing the Old English D in 1992. He returns to Detroit as assistant hitting coach after spending the past two years as hitting coach in Double-A Erie, working with current Tiger JaCoby Jones among others.
The headline hire -- and perhaps the most crucial addition -- of the staff is pitching coach Chris Bosio, who will have the task of developing the young arms on which the Tigers are staking their rebuilding effort. Bosio spent the past six years as pitching coach for the Cubs, helping mold a staff that owns the Majors' lowest ERA and opposing OPS since 2015. Bosio and the Cubs parted ways shortly after Chicago was eliminated in the National League Championship Series a couple weeks ago, and the Tigers moved ahead quickly.
The rest of the staff has experience with Gardenhire from his Twins tenure. Rick Anderson, who was Minnesota's pitching coach for Gardenhire's 13-year managerial stint there, comes out of retirement and reunites with his old boss as Tigers bullpen coach. Anderson's work in Minnesota included the development of Johan Santana, who won the American League Cy Young Award in 2004 and '06, and Francisco Liriano, an All-Star in 2006 and AL Comeback Player of the Year in '10, along with one of the more formidable bullpens in the league.
Steve Liddle, who spent a decade on Gardenhire's staff in Minnesota, will fill his old role of bench coach in Detroit. Joe Vavra, a hitting coach and third-base coach under Gardenhire before staying on as bench coach under Paul Molitor in Minnesota the past few years, jumps to the Tigers' staff as quality control coach.
"I've worked with many of these coaches before, and I've seen firsthand their passion for teaching the game of baseball and seeing it played the right way," Gardenhire said. "I'm confident that our time in Detroit will be successful."
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.