Detroit — The Tigers didn’t just hire a new hitting coach. They’ve installed a new hitting department.
On Tuesday, the Tigers announced the hiring of Michael Brdar and Keith Beauregard as big-league hitting coaches and James Rowson as assistant hitting coach. Presumably, they will join holdover Adam Melhuse to make a four-man hitting group.
The Tigers also announced former Arizona Diamondbacks assistant trainer Ryne Eubanks as the club’s new head athletic trainer.
Brdar, 28, a former player and coach at the University of Michigan, was the hitting coach for the San Diego Padres last season. Before that, he worked with Tigers president Scott Harris in the San Francisco Giants organization, serving as an assistant hitting coordinator in 2020 and minor-league hitting coordinator in 2021.
His time at Michigan (2018-19) overlapped with Tigers pitching coach Chris Fetter. Brdar played for the Wolverines in 2016-2017.
Beauregard, 39, has been a hitting instructor and assistant minor-league field coordinator in the Los Angeles Dodgers system since 2019. He was an assistant baseball coach at Santa Clara University and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell before that.
Rowson, 46, was the bench coach and offensive coordinator for the Miami Marlins for the last three seasons and brings 20 years of coaching experience at the professional level.
He spent three seasons as the Minnesota Twins hitting coach, helping them put together one of their most productive offensive seasons in 2019, when the “Bomba Squad” hit a Major League-record 307 home runs.
Rowson also coached in the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs systems.
The Tigers were the lowest-scoring team in baseball last season and have, for the past three seasons, ranked at or near the bottom in most strikeouts and fewest walks. They fired hitting coaches Scott Coolbaugh and Mike Hessman.
“We have to take steps toward building a new offensive identity,” Harris said last week during the GM meetings in Las Vegas. “We want to build a team-wide offensive approach that allows hitters to wear down pitchers. That allows hitters to pass the baton by getting on base and creating leverage situations. That allows our offense to grab count leverage every time we can and to be able to put ourselves in position to score runs in bunches instead of relying on solo homers or some other less stable approaches to run scoring.”
These three coaches come from programs that excelled in those areas.
The Tigers also made some roster moves on Tuesday, removing pitchers Miguel Diaz, Kyle Funkhouser and Sean Guenther, along with catcher Michael Papierski and outfielder Brendon Davis from the 40-man roster. They also added pitchers Reese Olson and Brendan White, infielders Andre Lipcius and Wenceel Perez and outfielder Parker Meadows to the 40-man roster.