After 28 years in baseball, long-time Detroit Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones announced his retirement. A week and a half later following a search for a new one, the Tigers have their man. Rich Dubee will be the new pitching coach, the team announced Thursday afternoon. (MLB.com's Jason Beck first reported the news earlier in the day.)
Dubee has served in the capacity of a pitching coach or coordinator for 13 years. He's spent the last two seasons with the Atlanta Braves as their minor league pitching coordinator and before was the pitching coach for the Philadelphia Phillies for nine years. That time included five straight NL East titles, back-to-back World Series appearances, and the ultimate championship in 2008.
Former Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty was a finalist for the position, but was informed late on Wednesday that the team would be heading in another direction, according to Beck. The team had interviewed about a half dozen possibilities, including Tigers minor league pitching coordinator A.J. Sager.
Prior to his time with the Phillies Dubee spent four years with the Marlins (1998-2001), including what was then-Marlins manager Jim Leyland's last season with the team. He started his career in baseball with the Kansas City Royals organization, though his time there was solely in the minors.
Dubee inherits a mixed staff of All-Star pitching and youth still developing, including Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, Daniel Norris, and a bullpen very much in need of recovery. Current Tigers bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer served alongside Dubee for four years with the Phillies. During his time with the Philadelphia, Dubee coached Randy Wolf for four years, now with the Tigers, guiding him to an All-Star appearance in 2003.
He's also coached players such as Ugueth Urbina, Jose Mesa, Chad Durbin, and Nate Robertson, as well as the Phillies' Roy Halladay/Cole Hamels/Cliff Lee/Roy Oswalt rotation from 2011. Hamels was a product of his for eight of his nine years as the Philadelphia pitching coach.