The Tigers have added three new coaches to A.J. Hinch’s staff, Cody Stavenhagen and Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic report (Twitter link). George Lombard will be the new bench coach, Chip Hale becomes third base coach, and Scott Coolbaugh becomes hitting coach.
This is the second link between Lombard and the Tigers this offseason, as the club interviewed the 45-year-old for the managerial position before deciding on Hinch. Lombard has worked as the Dodgers’ first base coach for the last five seasons, meaning he and Hinch were on opposite sides of the controversial 2017 World Series. Lombard previously worked in the Red Sox farm system as a manager and coach, as well as a roving outfield coordinator for both the Red Sox and Braves organizations.
Hale has also faced off against Hinch in a World Series, as Hale was the Nationals’ bench coach in 2019 when Washington defeated Houston. However, Hale previously worked as a coach under Hinch when Hinch was hired as the Diamondbacks’ manager in 2009. Best known for his own stint managing Arizona in 2015-16, Hale has a long track record as a big league coach with the D’Backs, Mets, Athletics, and Nationals. Hale spent three seasons as a bench coach and third base coach in D.C. before parting ways with the team in October.
Coolbaugh worked as the assistant hitting coach for the White Sox in 2020, and will now take full hitting coach duties for the third time with a big league team. Coolbaugh previously worked in the same role with the Rangers in 2011-12 and the Orioles from 2015-18.
The Tigers have now amassed most of Hinch’s staff, as the team announced yesterday that Chris Fetter and Juan Nieves had been hired as pitching coach and assistant pitching coach, respectively. These new faces join two holdovers from Ron Gardenhire’s staff — first base coach Ramon Santiago and quality control coach Josh Paul.