Detroit Tigers hire three coaches: George Lombard, Scott Coolbaugh, Chip Hale

Evan Petzold
Detroit Free Press

Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch is working quickly to build his coaching staff. One day after bringing on Chris Fetter as his pitching coach, the Tigers announced Saturday the additions of three more coaches.

George Lombard, who interviewed for the managerial position, will be Hinch's bench coach. Scott Coolbaugh has been hired as the hitting coach, and Chip Hale is the third base coach.

“Adding coaches with high levels of experience both developing teams and leading in the postseason is important as we establish a culture for winning baseball here in Detroit,” Hinch said in a news release Saturday. “I’m confident these three additions will complement what’s already a strong coaching staff, and we’re excited to begin working with the players soon.”

Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor (3) hands over his batting helmet and gloves to Dodgers first base coach George Lombard, left, during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Friday, July 31, 2020, in Phoenix.

Lombard, Coolbaugh and Hale join Fetter, assistant pitching coach Juan Nieves, first base coach Ramon Santiago and quality control coach Josh Paul as members of Hinch's first crew with the organization.

Before coming to the Tigers, Lombard was the first base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2016-20. Coolbaugh was the assistant hitting coach for the Chicago White Sox in 2020. Hale has been the Washington Nationals bench coach from 2018-20.

“We’re thrilled to add these experienced baseball men who bring a diverse range of expertise to our major league staff,” general manager Al Avila said. “Each of them has worked with high-level talent in their careers and have a track record of cultivating winning players. I’d like to commend AJ and our baseball operations staff for bringing together a group of coaches that I believe will get the most from our players in 2021 and seasons to come.”

Bench coach: George Lombard

Lombard, 45, has spent the last five seasons with the Dodgers, who won last month's World Series. Previously, he coached with the Atlanta Braves (2015) and Boston Red Sox (2010-15). During his tenure with the Red Sox, Lombard was influential in helping former MVP Mookie Betts transition to the outfield before he emerged in the majors.

As an outfielder, Lombard was selected in the second round by the Braves in the 1994 draft. He played for the Braves (1998-00), Tigers (2002), Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2003) and Nationals (2006). He hit .241 with five homers across 72 games for Detroit.

His first job came as the hitting coach for Single-A Lowell in 2010 within Boston's organization.

FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2016, file photo, Arizona Diamondbacks' Chip Hale, right, argues with umpire Dale Scott after Diamondbacks' Welington Castillo was thrown out of the game for arguing during the 12th inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Phoenix. Rather than risk yet another concussion, Scott has decided to retire at 58. The veteran crew chief missed nearly the entire 2017 season after a foul ball off the bat of Baltimore slugger Mark Trumbo in Toronto on April 14, caught him hard in the mask, causing Scott's second concussion in nine months and fourth in five years. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Hitting coach: Scott Coolbaugh

While Coolbaugh, 54, only spent one season as the White Sox's hitting coach, he's not short on experience. His first coaching gig came in 1999 with Double-A El Paso for the Arizona Diamondbacks. At the major-league level, Coolbaugh worked for the Texas Rangers (2011-12), Baltimore Orioles (2015-18) and White Sox (2020).

Coolbaugh was selected in the third round of the 1987 draft. He played third base for the Texas Rangers (1989-90), San Diego Padres (1991) and St. Louis Cardinals (1994). He hit .215 with eight homers and 41 RBIs in 167 career games.

Coolbaugh has 20 years of experience as a professional hitting coach.

Third base coach: Chip Hale

Hale, 55, won a World Series in 2019 as the Nationals' bench coach, and he has 34 years of experience as a professional coach. He managed the Diamondbacks from 2015-16, finishing 148-176 in two full seasons but was fired in October 2016.

He has MLB coaching experience for the Diamondbacks (2007-09), New York Mets (2010-11), Oakland Athletics (2012-14, 2017) and Nationals (2018-20).

Hale played second and third base during his seven-year playing career for the Minnesota Twins (1989-90, 1993-96) and Dodgers (1997). Through 333 career games, he had a .277 batting average with seven homers and 78 RBIs. He was drafted in the 17th round in 1987.

In Game 6 of the 2019 World Series, Hale replaced Dave Martinez, who was ejected, as the acting manager. The Nationals held onto the lead and won, 7-2, to force a Game 7 against Hinch's Astros.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.