Omar Vizquel will be back on a major-league diamond next season — though in a different place than we grew used to seeing the sure-handed shortstop.
Vizquel, 46, will join the Detroit Tigers at their first-base coach, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez and Alden Gonzalez. Vizquel — considered one of the top defensive shortstops of all time — spent the first year of post-playing career as a roving infield instructor in the Los Angeles Angels organization. Now he'll join first-year Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, as the team moves on the from the Jim Leyland tenure.
Several outlets in Venezuela are reporting Omar Vizquel hired as the first base coach for the Tigers. Stay tuned. http://t.co/ETshbV4hS8
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) November 18, 2013
When #Angels didnt put Vizquel in Scioscia's staff, they figured it was only matter of time before someone snatched him w/ promotion.
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) November 18, 2013
(Sidenote: Omar Vizquel will be coaching Jose Iglesias, if such things bring you joy, and they should.)
Vizquel played 24 years in the big leagues, but interestingly doesn't have a prior connection to either the Tigers or Ausmus. Vizquel played for the Mariners, Indians, Giants, Rangers, White Sox and Blue Jays. Ausmus, 44, played 18 years, all while Vizquel was an active player, but the two were never teammates.
Ausmus also has reportedly added Wally Joyner as his hitting coach. Unlike Ausmus and Vizquel, Joyner has held that position previously — with the Padres. He was most recently the assistant hitting coach for the Phillies.
If you're worried about experience on the Tigers coaching staff, they still have Gene Lamont as bench coach. He's been with the team since 2006 and he's been coaching since 1986.
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