Triple-A Toledo manager Lloyd McClendon won’t return to Detroit Tigers in 2023

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers will have a new manager in Triple-A Toledo next season.

Lloyd McClendon, who managed the Mud Hens to an 87-63 record, won’t return to the organization for the 2023 season, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. After this season ended, McClendon met with vice president of player development Ryan Garko. The Tigers were looking to move on from the longtime coach, while McClendon wanted to seek opportunities in the major leagues.

It was a mutual agreement to part ways.

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McClendon, 63, joined the Triple-A affiliate in January 2022, following the Tigers’ promotion of Gary Jones to the coaching staff in the majors. He managed outfielder Riley Greene coming off his foot injury and first baseman Spencer Torkelson after his struggles in Detroit forced his demotion.

He also navigated injuries to pitchers across the organization. In the big leagues, the Tigers employed 17 starting pitchers and finished one starter shy of an MLB record. Michael Pineda and Matt Manning combined for 13 rehab games in Toledo, with Eduardo Rodriguez making three starts.

The Tigers first hired McClendon in 2006 as former manager Jim Leyland’s bullpen coach. He stuck around in several roles, primarily as the hitting coach, until November 2013, when the Seattle Mariners hired him as their manager.

McClendon had a 163-161 record over two seasons with the Mariners.

He was fired in October 2015 and returned to the Tigers’ organization that November to begin his first stint as Toledo’s manager. After one season, the Tigers promoted McClendon as the team’s hitting coach in the big leagues.

From 2017-20, McClendon served as the hitting coach, bench coach and interim manager. He took over as the skipper in September 2020 after Ron Gardenhire’s retirement and went 2-6 to finish the season. The Tigers hired manager A.J. Hinch in October 2020, and McClendon was not retained as a member of the new coaching staff.

McClendon played 570 games over parts of eight seasons in the majors.

The Detroit News first reported McClendon’s departure.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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