Toby Harrah sticking with Tigers to work with hitters
Add the Tigers to the list of teams using two coaches to work with hitters. It’s a trend that has been growing in the big leagues, but it’ll be a first for manager Jim Leyland on his staff.
Technically, it isn’t a new hire. Toby Harrah, the Tigers’ organizational hitting instructor, joined up with the team here in Texas, where he was a three-time All-Star for the Rangers and remains a popular figure. Once the Tigers head to Tampa Bay, however, Harrah is going with them.
The plan is for him to stick around with the team off and on for the rest of the season, working with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon.
MLive.com reported the move Wednesday evening.
Scott Miller of CBSSports.com profiled the trend of teams adding coaches for hitting in a story earlier this month. The Braves, Cardinals and Padres reportedly use two hitting coaches, while other teams have added assistants to help out.
A large part of the trend involves workload. Between extra hitting in indoor cages, early batting practice for hitters working on adjustments, plus video analysis, the job has involved and grown.
But the addition also coincides with a Tigers offense that, while posting respectable stats among American League clubs, hasn’t put up the run totals that were expected once Detroit added Prince Fielder to go with Miguel Cabrera, Delmon Young and a young core. The Tigers scored five runs during their three-game series in Pittsburgh last weekend, and have had other stretches where opposing pitchers shut down the offense and induced hitters to chase pitches out of the strike zone.