August 9, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Omar Vizquel (17) catches the ball against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 7-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Detroit Tigers To Hire Omar Vizquel as First Base, Infield, and Baserunning Coach

According to Jesse Sanchez of, Venezuelan reporters are saying that Omar Vizquel will be joining the Detroit Tigers’ coaching staff.

Vizquel, who debuted in 1989, played in the major leagues for 24 seasons before retiring after the 2012 season and was renowned as one of the better defensive shortstops in the game. One would assume he would also be filling the role of infield coach, the position vacated by Rafael Belliard.

The Tigers are famous for their recent bevy of Venezuelan players, so hiring a Venezuelan as a coach seems like a natural fit. Especially one as respected in the game as Vizquel. It’s hard not to get excited when a near Hall of Fame caliber player is hired to your team’s coaching staff, but it’s hard to know what type of impact he’d bring to the team in this capacity. We’ll have to wait to find that out. It’s probably not a bad thing, however, to have one of the great defenders in recent history help to coach up a young hot shot like Jose Iglesias. Probably only good things can happen there.

UPDATE: Reports are now confirming that Vizquel will be serving as the infield coach and baserunning coach as well as first base duties.

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  • chrisHannum

    Would you guess this is a case of “find a job for Vizquel”? I can’t imagine “first base” having much to do with his actual responsibilities for the team.

    • Matt Snyder

      Coming out now that he’ll be the infield and baserunning coach as well.

    • Max Barth

      He’d be a good fit at first base, since that’s an important place to coach baserunners. He’s infield coach as well, because obviously. And now we have the best defender in baseball being coached by one the best fielding shortstops ever? That’s gonna be fun to see if Vizquel can actually make Iggy better in the field.

  • Matt Pelc

    Is it wrong to like this hire more than the Ausmus hiring? I don’t think Brad was a great hire or a horrible hire, it just didn’t move the needle for me, but I love this move for a team that lacks both speed and defensive skills.

    • Matt Snyder

      I think the thing is that there’s only so much a coach can do to make Prince a good baserunner and get Miggy more range at third.

      • chrisHannum

        If only Vizquel could make Prince Fielder’s arms longer…