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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jeff Jones returns as Tigers' pitching coach, Dave Clark added to coaching staff

DETROIT — There are five well-paid gentlemen who are very happy at this moment.

The entire Detroit Tigers starting rotation should be elated at the news that Jeff Jones is returning to the staff as pitching coach, added Wednesday to new manager Brad Ausmus’ staff, along with third-base coach Dave Clark.

Both signed two-year deals with the club.

Jones was instrumental in helping both Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello develop the breaking pitches that enabled them to be more effective against left-handed hitters, as well as in helping Justin Verlander figure his way out of his season-long funk by the postseason.

Collectively, the pitching staff and rotation set numerous records for strikeouts this season, under Jones’ tutelage.

After numerous stints as the Tigers’ bullpen coach, Jones took over the pitching coach role on July 3, 2011, after Rick Knapp was fired. His contract with the team expired at the end of this season, but it was clear the Tigers wanted him to return.

“We are in the process of looking at possible pitching coach candidates. I know Jonesy from when I was here,” Ausmus said Sunday. “And certainly is a prominent name on that list. But right now, we haven’t made any final decisions, but that will be (coming shortly).”

Gene Lamont was named the bench coach immediately upon Ausmus’ hiring, the first holdover from outgoing manager Jim Leyland’s staff. Jones is the second.

Leyland’s hitting coach, Lloyd McClendon, was named the Seattle Mariners’ manager Tuesday night.

Clark coached both first and third base in five seasons on the coaching staff in Houston, and was the interim manager at the end of the 2009 season, when Cecil Cooper was fired. He managed for six seasons in the minor league systems in both Houston and Pittsburgh, and was the Pirates’ hitting coach for two seasons (2001-02), while McClendon was the manager there.

As a player, he spent parts of 13 seasons in the big leagues, with six different teams.


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