The Tigers continue to add to their personnel, this time plucking Iowa pitching coach Robin Lund to work as an assistant pitching coach, reports Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball. The team has not confirmed the move. Lund had previously worked with Detroit’s pitching coach Chris Fetter and led one of the best collegiate pitching staffs. Evan Woodbery of MLive Media Group adds that Tigers’ bullpen coach Juan Nieves, who has the title of assistant pitching coach, is expected to return to the team and that manager A.J. Hinch had said that the Tigers might be flexible in how they fill out coaching roles for 2023.
Lund joins the Tigers after five seasons at Iowa. During the 2021-2022 season, the pitching staff ranked third in strikeouts per nine innings (11.2), fourth in ERA (3.72), and 11th in WHIP (1.29). Over the last seasons, seven Hawkeye pitchers have joined MLB organizations under Lund’s watch.
Lund’s most recent success story is South Dakota State transfer Adam Mazur who was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year after going 7-3 with a 3.07 ERA in 93 2/3 innings with 98 strikeouts. Mazur led a quartet of Hawkeyes selected in the 2022 MLB Draft, going in the second round (53rd overall) to the Padres.
Perhaps most notable for the Tigers is Lund’s kinesiology experience. Lund holds a Doctorate of Exercise Science and was an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at UNI from 2002-2018 studying biomechanics, anatomy, statistics, and research methods with a research focus on improving athletic performance. Last season, only one Tigers pitcher reached 20 starts, Tarik Skubal, with Tyler Alexander, Eduardo Rodriguez, Beau Brieske, and Matt Manning all missing time due to injuries.
Lund will work with a staff that pitched to a collective 4.05 ERA (10th highest), with a 19.8% strikeout rate (6th lowest) and 8.5% walk rate (12th highest).