Jones' influence as Tigers' pitching coach shows

Jones' influence as Tigers' pitching coach shows

Jones' influence as Tigers' pitching coach shows
DETROIT -- One year to the day since the Tigers installed Jeff Jones as pitching coach, manager Jim Leyland called him a "total pitching coach" who has put his imprint on the pitching staff.

It was the kind of midseason coaching change that hinted at desperation when the Tigers did it coming off a struggling west coast trip in 2011. The reasoning given at the time of the move was that the performance was not up to the talent level, aside from Justin Verlander.

It wasn't the way Jones wanted his opportunity, but it was a job he sought for years.

"I think he's kind of quietly brought a calming influence," Leyland said Tuesday. "He's a personable guy to start with, and that always helps when you're coaching and dealing with a lot of different personalities. He's a very talented guy with a good personality, and he seems to have a good rapport with the pitchers.

"The pitching coach is always kind of the buffer between the manager and the pitchers. He does a good job with that. He's like all pitching coaches. He falls in love with pitchers. They're supposed to."