The Detroit Tigers have added to their MLB coaching staff.
Iowa pitching coach Robin Lund has been hired as the assistant pitching coach, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to the Free Press. He will play a key role in the sports science and biomechanics aspects of the pitching department.
The Tigers have not confirmed Lund’s hire.
The Tigers now have three pitching coaches, with Lund joining pitching coach Chris Fetter and assistant pitching coach Juan Nieves. Nieves remains a member of the Tigers, but it’s unclear if his role or title will change moving forward.
“The goal is to enhance the coaching staff,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said Oct. 7. “Some of that’s with different voices, but also some of that may be in different roles. It’s not like you have to do it the same exact way that you’ve always done it.”
Lund has passions for baseball, science and data.
“I’m a scientist that coaches pitchers,” Lund told Hawk Central’s Chad Leistikow in May 2022. “I don’t know if it’s innovation.”
The 50-year-old comes to the Tigers with three college degrees: bachelor’s in education from Whitworth College in 1995, master’s in exercise science from Eastern Washington in 1997 and doctoral in exercise science from the University of Idaho in 2002.
He was an associate professor in Northern Iowa’s department of kinesiology from 2002-18 before becoming a volunteer hitting coach for the softball team during the 2018 season.
In December 2018, Iowa hired Lund as the baseball program’s hitting coach. After his first season, he switched roles and became the full-time pitching coach. In 2022, Iowa’s pitching staff ranked second nationally in hits per nine innings (6.9), third in strikeouts per nine innings (11.2) and fourth in ERA (3.72).
Iowa right-hander Adam Mazur won Big Ten Pitcher of the Year in 2022 and was drafted No. 53 overall by the San Diego Padres, primarily thanks to Lund’s application of biomechanics. Seven Iowa pitchers joined MLB organizations in the past two seasons.
Mazur transferred from South Dakota State, where he had a 5.43 ERA over 12 starts in 2021. When Mazur joined Iowa, Lund utilized motion sensors and high-speed video to track his every move when throwing his fastball. From there, Lund created personalized pitching plans for each pitcher.
Under Lund’s instructions, Mazur moved from the left side of the mound to the right side. He then began pitching effectively in the strike zone and getting swings and misses on his fastball, which topped out at 99 mph. He also added a curveball to complement his fastball, slider and changeup.
A new fastball profile helped Mazur post a 3.07 ERA with 30 walks and 98 strikeouts over 93⅔ innings in 15 starts last season.
D1Baseball’s Kendall Rogers first reported Lund’s hire.
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