New Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus continues to round out his coaching staff.
On Monday, reports started coming out of Venezuela that former longtime shortstop Omar Vizquel was leaving the Los Angeles Angels to become the Tigers’ first base coach.
The Tigers confirmed the news in a release.
Wilmer Reina, a writer with Diario La Verdad in Venezuela, spoke with Vizquel, who said, roughly translated, “I will be with them as first base coach, infield instructor and helping with baserunning.”
Vizquel, 46, has been the Angels’ roving infield instructor and is considered to be a good future managerial candidate.
It will be interesting to see how shortstop Jose Iglesias, who has often been compared to Vizquel, blossoms with Vizquel as an infield instructor.
Vizquel won 11 Gold Gloves during his 24-year major league career and has the highest all-time fielding percentage among shortstops who played at least 1,000 games.
Vizquel joins bench coach Gene Lamont, pitching coach Jeff Jones, third base coach Dave Clark. hitting coach Wally Joyner and bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer.
The Tigers will also have a defensive coordinator, Matt Martin.
“I’m very excited to have Omar, Wally, Mick and Matt join the Tigers,” Ausmus said in a statement. “There is a lot of baseball and coaching experience in this group that is committed to the details of winning baseball games.”
Last season, Billmeyer was the Philadelphia Phillies’ catching coach, Joyner was the Phillies’ assistant hitting coach and Martin was the Baltimore Orioles’ minor league infield instructor.
The release also said the Tigers would hire an assistant hitting coach to complete the staff.