DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today named Lloyd McClendon the Club’s hitting coach. Additionally, Leon “Bull” Durham has been named the Club’s assistant hitting coach. A veteran of 36 years in professional baseball, McClendon is in his second stint on the Tigers coaching staff after serving as the Tigers bullpen coach in 2006 and the team’s hitting coach in 2007-13. This will mark Durham’s 17th season in the Tigers organization and his first time as a coach at the major league level.
"Mac knows our personnel well and has worked with a number of current hitters, so we're fortunate to have him as part of our staff,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. “Bull's experience and familiarity with our AAA players is a plus for us too."
“I appreciate the opportunity to be back with the major league staff in Detroit,” said Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon. “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. I am also looking forward to working with Bull Durham who brings a vast amount of experience.”
McClendon joins the major league club after serving as the manager for Triple A Toledo in 2016. In his one season as the Mud Hens manager, McClendon guided Toledo to a 68-76 record.
Prior to rejoining the Tigers organization prior to the 2016 season, McClendon was the manager of the Seattle Mariners from 2014-15. In his first season with the Mariners, McClendon led the team to an 87-75 record, a 16-game improvement over the team’s record in 2013.
In his previous stint with Detroit from 2006-13, the Tigers advanced to the postseason in four of eight seasons he was on staff, including the 2006 and 2012 World Series. In 2013, the Tigers led the majors with a .283 batting average and were second in runs scored.
Before joining the Tigers organization, McClendon served as the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2001-05. As the Pirates manager, McClendon served as a coach for the National League squad at the 2003 All-Star Game at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.
Following his playing career, McClendon began his coaching career as the Pirates roving minor league hitting instructor in 1996 and spent the next four seasons as the club’s major league hitting coach.
McClendon managed Lancaster in the California Fall League following the 1999 season, leading the club to the league’s championship.
McClendon’s playing career spanned 16 seasons (1980-95) after he was selected in the eighth round of the June 1980 draft by the New York Mets. He saw action at the major league level with the Cincinnati Reds (1987-88), Chicago Cubs (1989-90) and Pirates (1990-94). McClendon was a member of four division winning clubs with the Cubs in 1989 and the Pirates from 1990-92.
A native of Gary, Ind., McClendon and his wife, Ingrid, reside in Chesterton, Ind., during the offseason. The couple has two children, daughter Schenell, and son, Bo, who was selected by the Tigers in the 39th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Durham joins the major league coaching staff after serving as hitting coach at Triple A Toledo in 2016. The 2017 season will mark his 17th season as a coach in the Tigers organization, after 17 seasons as a coach with the Mud Hens. Additionally, he served as a coach for Team USA during the Pan American Qualifying Tournament in 2010.
Prior to joining the Tigers organization in 2001, Durham spent five seasons as a coach in the Anaheim Angels organization. Durham was a coach with Triple A Edmonton (1999-2000), and was previously a coach with Triple A Vancouver in 1997-98 and Single A Lake Elsinore during the 1996 season.
He played 10 seasons at the major league level with St. Louis (1980, 1989), the Chicago Cubs (1981-88) and Cincinnati (1989). Durham finished his major league career with a .277 batting average and 147 home runs. Durham belted 20-or-more home runs in five of his seasons, including a career-high 27 home runs during the 1987 season. He was selected to the National League All-Star team twice in his career, 1982 and 1983.
(Courtesy of Detroit Tigers Communications)