Maroth to be pitching coach at Lakeland

Maroth to be pitching coach at Lakeland

DETROIT -- Mike Maroth had been looking to get back into baseball after injuries ended his pitching career last winter. He'll get his start in coaching with the same organization where he broke into the Majors as a pitcher.

The Tigers announced Monday that they've hired Maroth as their pitching coach at Class A Lakeland. He replaces Joe Coleman, who was let go a few weeks ago.

It'll be the first pro coaching job for Maroth, who brings a wealth of experience and a strong work ethic into the role. He also brings a good outlook on how to deal with struggles and adversity. He's best remembered for his 21-loss season on the Tigers' 2003 team that lost 119 games, and drew national attention for the way he handled it and bounced back.

There's a side beyond the numbers, though, and it starts with somebody who became a pretty crafty pitcher and adapted his game without a power pitch in his arsenal. He knew how to pitch, just not throw. He also has a high character that seems natural for a coaching job.

"We're thrilled that he's with us, because I think Mike is not only a knowledgeable baseball person, but he's also a quality human being," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "He's the type of people you want in your organization, and he used to be a Tiger, too. So when you [have] that combination, it's great."

Maroth, who lives in Orlando, Fla., had been interested in a coaching career after elbow injuries finally forced him to end his comeback attempt last winter. He talked with team officials, including Dombrowski, in Spring Training about a job in the future. After debating whether coaching or scouting would be the best fit, the job in Lakeland was a logical option.