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Detroit Tigers hire familiar face as hitting coach for 2017

Earlier this month, Wally Joyner notified the Detroit Tigers that he would not be returning as the team’s hitting coach in 2017 because he was interested in pursuing other opportunities in baseball.

The Tigers did not wait too long to find Joyner’s replacement, as they announced on Friday that Lloyd McClendon would be taking over hitting coach beginning with the 2017 season. In addition to McClendon, the Tigers also announced that Leon “Bull” Durham was being hired as the team’s assistant hitting coach.

McClendon was hired as the Tigers bullpen coach back in 2006, but was then named hitting coach by manager Jim Leyland for the 2007 and remained in that position through the 2013 season. During McClendon’s seven seasons as hitting coach, a Tigers hitter won the batting title on four separate occasions (Magglio Ordonez in 2007 and Miguel Cabrera in 2011-2013.

“I appreciate the opportunity to be back with the major league staff in Detroit,” McClendon said in a statement released by the Tigers. “I am grateful to Al and Brad for having the confidence in me to once again work with some of the game’s best hitters.”

In two stints as a manager in Major League Baseball (2001-2005 with Pittsburgh and 2014-2015 with Seattle), McClendon posted an overall record of  499–607. Most recently, he served as the manager of the Tigers Triple-A affiliate Toledo Mudhens.

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