Lloyd McClendon returns to Detroit Tigers organization as manager of Toledo Mud Hens

McClendon replaces Gary Jones, who becomes Tigers’ first base coach

Hitting coach Lloyd McClendon #20 of the Detroit Tigers before a game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on June 2, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Duane Burleson , 2017 Getty Images)

TOLEDO, OhioLloyd McClendon, a longtime Detroit Tigers coach under Jim Leyland and Ron Gardenhire, is returning to the organization as manager of the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens.

The move comes on the heels of his predecessor, Gary Jones, receiving a promotion to become the Tigers’ first base coach.

“I am looking forward to returning to Toledo and working with the Tigers in a developmental role,” McClendon said. “Fifth Third Field is a tremendous ballpark and Toledo has some of the most passionate baseball fans in all of minor league baseball. It is something that I really enjoyed being around in 2016 and am looking forward to that once again.”

McClendon, 63, was on Leyland’s staff in Detroit from 2006-2013. He started as a bullpen coach, received a promotion to hitting coach and eventually managed the team whenever Leyland got ejected.

He returned for a second stint with the Tigers from 2016-2020. That tenure began under Brad Ausmus and ended with McClendon spending eight games as interim manager (2-6 record) after Gardenhire’s retirement.

When the Tigers hired A.J. Hinch before the 2021 season, McClendon was not retained.

McClendon managed the Mud Hens in 2016, when they finished 68-76. Before that, he spent five seasons as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates (going 336-446 from 2001-2005) and two seasons as manager of the Seattle Mariners (going 163-161 from 2014-2015).

“It is great to welcome Lloyd McClendon back to the Mud Hens,” said Erik Ibsen, Mud Hens executive vice president and general manager. “He brings a wealth of knowledge with him from the major league level and knows what the city of Toledo is all about from his time back in 2016. This is another reason to get us excited about baseball coming back to Fifth Third Field in April.”

McClendon played outfield and first base at the MLB level for eight years, spending time with the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs from 1987-1994. He hit .244 with 35 home runs in 570 career games.

The Mud Hens will open the 2022 season April 5 against the Rochester Red Wings at Fifth Third Field.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.