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Tigers add Joe Vavra, Rick Anderson to coaching staff, per report

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Ron Gardenhire’s supporting cast continues to grow.

MLB: Minnesota Twins-Spring Training Media Day
Joe Vavra
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The new Detroit Tigers coaching staff continues to take shape.

Joe Vavra and Rick Anderson have joined Ron Gardenhire’s corps as quality control coach and bullpen coach, respectively, per reports. The same report indicates the full coaching staff is expected to be named later this week. Vavra’s hiring comes hours after longtime second in command Gene Lamont’s announcement that he would not be returning to the club.

Vavra and Gardenhire have history dating all the way back to 2006, when Vavra joined Gardenhire’s Minnesota Twins staff as hitting coach. He would hold the job until 2012, when he was reassigned as third base coach and infield instructor. He would further serve as Paul Molitor’s bench coach from 2015 until 2017.

“It was a really tough decision because of my indebtedness to the Twins,” Vavra said in a quote from the Star Tribune. “It was a really tough decision to leave [manager] Paul Molitor.”

Also announced was the hiring of Rick Anderson as the club’s new bullpen coach, replacing Mick Billmeyer. Anderson previously served as Gardenhire’s pitching coach over his entire tenure with the Twins, from 2002 until 2014.

Vavra and Anderson will join former Chicago Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio as the first confirmed newcomers to the Tigers’ staff.