By Ashley Scoby
Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones is retiring, per the team. Jones was named to the position in July of 2011, and saw both Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer win the American League Cy Young Award in 2011 and 2013, respectively, under his watch.
According to the Tigers’ press release, the search for someone to replace Jones has already started.
“There have been some great moments that I’ll cherish, especially being a lifelong Tigers fan,” Jones said in the release. “I’ve been contemplating this for a little while and at this point in my life I want to spend time with my family and grandchildren, and I am looking forward to it.”
At 59, Jones has been in baseball for most of his life. He was drafted in the 13th round by the Oakland A’s in 1977, where he played his entire major league career. In five seasons at the major league level, Jones had a career ERA of 3.95, and collected 128 strikeouts in 205 innings pitched.
Before joining the Tigers full-time in 2011, Jones was pitching coach at Triple-A Toledo from 2000 to 2006, and has also served time as Detroit’s bullpen coach in the 90s.
“’Jonesy’ has been a great influence on our pitchers, both the veterans and the younger arms, and was a solid complement to our big league coaching staff,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, according to the release. “We respect his decision and wish him all the best.”
This year, during a 74-87 season, the Tigers were in the bottom of the MLB in team pitching. Detroit’s pitchers finished the season with a 4.64 ERA, good for 28th in the country. They were also 28th in total strikeouts, 28th in runs allowed, 25th in total saves and 26th in opponents’ batting average.
The Tigers saw Verlander return to his old form this season, but players behind him often struggled. The pitching staff also suffered a major setback when ace David Price was traded to Toronto before the summer trade deadline. Anibal Sanchez, who won the American League ERA crown in 2013 under Jones, was shut down in mid-August because of a shoulder injury.
Jones, who attended Southgate High School in Michigan, lives in Carleton with his wife, according to the Tigers’ release.