DETROIT- The Detroit Tigers today named Omar Vizquel, Mick Billmeyer and Wally Joyner to the club’s coaching staff. Vizquel will join the staff as first base/infield/baserunning coach, Billmeyer as the bullpen coach and Joyner as the hitting coach. Martin will join the Tigers as the club’s defensive coordinator.
“I’m very excited to have Omar, Wally, Mick and Matt join the Tigers,” said Detroit manager Brad Ausmus. “There is a lot of baseball and coaching experience in this group that is committed to the details of winning baseball games.”
Vizquel joins the staff after serving as the roving infield instructor in the Angels minor league system for one season. Prior to his position with the Angels, he enjoyed a 29-year playing career, including 24 years at the Major League level. He is a three-time All-Star (1998, 1999, 2002) and has been the recipient of 11 Gold Glove Awards (1993-2001, 2005-2006). He owns the highest all-time career fielding percentage (.985) among big league shortstops (min. 1000 games) and ranks first in career games played as a shortstop (2,709). Additionally, he is the all-time career-hits leader among Venezuelan-born players.
Billmeyer joins the Tigers after one season as the Philadelphia Phillies catching coach. He originally joined the Phillies organization as the minor league catching coordinator in 2000, a position he held until 2003. He was then promoted to major league catching instructor (2004-2008) and was later named the bullpen coach (2009-12). His coaching career began as the Angels bullpen/workout coordinator from 1994-1999. Prior to coaching, he played in the Orioles (1985-88, 93), Rangers (1988-89) and Angels (1990-92) organizations after being selected by Baltimore in the 2nd round of the 1985 draft.
Joyner comes to the Tigers after serving as the Phillies assistant hitting coach for one season. Prior to his time with the Phillies, he worked as the lead hitting instructor for Major League Baseball International Elite-level development programs (2009-12), coaching players and instructors in Italy, Brazil and the Netherlands. He spent time as the hitting coach in San Diego for parts of two seasons (2007-2008) after five seasons (2003-07) as a roving minor league instructor for the organization, as well as serving as a special assistant to General Manager Kevin Towers. Prior to his coaching career, he played 16 seasons at the Major League level with the Angels (1986-1991, 2001), Royals (1992-95), Padres (1996-99) and Braves (2000). He was elected the starting first baseman for the 1986 American League All-Star team and was co-winner of the Home Run Derby with Darryl Strawberry.
Martin joins the Tigers after one season as the minor league infield instructor in the Baltimore organization, marking his second stint (other, 2004) in that capacity for the Orioles. In his role as the defensive coordinator for the Tigers, Martin will assist Brad Ausmus and his staff with all on-field arrangements as well as with the coordination of all advanced scouting information for the Tigers. He has spent 18 years as a minor league coach, manager or instructor. His coaching career began in the Tigers organization (1998-2003) where he served as Double-A hitting coach, roving instructor and manager. After the Tigers, he spent two seasons in the Yankees organization as Gulf Coast League hitting coach (2005) and GCL manager (2006). He then joined the Dodgers organization as the roving infield instructor (2007-11). Prior to his coaching career, he played four seasons in the Reds minor league system after being drafted by the organization in the 36th round of the 1991 draft.
The Tigers will continue the club’s search for an assistant hitting coach to finalize the staff.