Sep 27, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones (51) uses the dugout telephone during the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The details are still unconfirmed at this point, but Gene Lamont said “he heard” Jeff Jones was coming back while doing a radio interview with Drew Lane and Marc Fellhauer on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM this afternoon.
This would mark the first time that anyone connected to the team has stated that Jones will return. Jones gets a ton of credit for leading a starting pitching staff that was among the best in baseball.
No one really knows how much of the credit he deserves – the pitchers were all good pitchers before coming in contact with Jonesy – but Anibal Sanchez and Doug Fister both took steps forward after joining Jones and the Tigers, Rick Porcello has seemed to improve step-by-step after Jones replaced Rick Knapp, and Max Scherzer has grown into a Cy Young caliber pitcher. In related news, word is coming out now that former hitting coach Lloyd McClendon will be announced as the new manager of the Seattle Mariners.
McClendon served under Jim Leyland for his entire eight year tenure in Detroit and was interviewed as one of the top candidates for the Tigers’ managerial position. He wasn’t well loved as a hitting coach — though I think generally fans have unreasonable expectations for the level of magic that hitting coaches can work — and I expect few tears will be shed as he moves on to Seattle.