McClendon returns to Tigers organization after Jones promotion

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Lloyd McClendon is back in the Detroit Tigers organization just a year after failing to become the team’s manager.

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McClendon, 63, was named manager of the team’s Class AAA Toledo Mud Hens farm club on Thursday.

McClendon replaces Gary Jones, who was hired as Toledo manager in December. The Tigers named Jones the team’s new first baseman coach on Thursday, filling a position left vacant in December after the sudden death of Kimera Bartee from an undetected brain tumor.

“I look forward to returning to Toledo and working with the Tigers in a developmental role,” McClendon said in a statement.

McClendon played eight seasons in Major League Baseball with Cincinnati, the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh.

He turned to coaching after retiring and eventually coached at Pittsburgh for five seasons.

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Former Tigers manager Jim Leyland hired him in 2007, moving him from bullpen coach to batting coach. The Tigers had four American League batting champions in his seven seasons in that role with Magglio Ordonez winning in 2007 and Miguel Cabrera in 2011-13.

This landed him the managerial job at Seattle where he lasted for two seasons. The Tigers hired him to coach in Toledo in 2016 and the following season he returned to Detroit as hitting coach.

When Ron Gardenhire stepped down as manager of Detroit near the end of the 2020 season, McClendon took over managerial duties and guided the team to a 2-6 record to finish the season.

McClendon was interviewed for the Detroit managerial job, which went to AJ Hinch. He was not retained in the coaching staff and missed the 2021 season.

“I really enjoyed being in (Toledo) in 2016 and I can’t wait to be there again,” McClendon said.

Jones, 61, has coached in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system for the past four seasons and was named International League Manager of the Year in 2018. He coached Hinch in 1997 in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system. Oakland A with the Class AAA Edmonton Trappers.

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