The Detroit Tigers are still revamping the coaching staff along with the front office, and the most recent addition is University of Iowa pitching coach Robin Lund, according to Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball.com.
Lund will serve as an assistant pitching coach under Chris Fetter and should help bring the Tigers further into the modern pitching era. The word that most use to describe Lund is “transformational,” as in he’s quite literally able to transform a player's career from ho-hum to a raging success, seemingly overnight.
Look no further than the work he did with Adam Mazur at Iowa last season. Mazur entered the collegiate ranks as a standout right-handed pitcher from Minnesota, but his first two years with South Dakota State left a lot to be desired. That’s where Lund comes in. Mazur needed just two meetings with Lund to buy in, and he ended up taking home Big Ten Pitcher of the Years honors and as a second-round pick in the draft. Not too shabby, but what exactly is it about Lund that makes this kind of development possible?
Hired by the Hawkeyes in 2019, Lund is a former exercise-science professor turned coach. He had spent time helping out Rick Heller (free of charge) at the University of Northern Iowa and was at the top of the list once Heller lost his staff to the New York Yankees in December 2018. A self-proclaimed “scientist that coaches pitchers” was headed to the Big Ten.
Lund uses his love of numbers and experience as an educator to seamlessly relay information to his pitchers. The players and coaches around him laud Lund for his coaching ability, and there’s nothing old-school about his approach.
Mazur’s first day on campus at Iowa involved being hooked up to sensors and hurling fastballs into a net in front of Lund, according to Hawk Central. The data gained from that outing helped Lund create a specific plan for each of his pitchers, and Mazur picked up a mile or two on his fastball that year.
Lund also knows when to leave well enough alone. Mazur’s slider was excellent and didn’t need to be tweaked, but some adjustments to his changeup helped make the whole arsenal that much more effective.
Detroit is getting a guy who could help bring Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal to national prominence if everything goes right in their respective rehabs. Lund’s input on the strength and conditioning side of things should only help both come back more durable than ever, and he’s got the right kind of analytical approach to succeed under Scott Harris, A. J. Hinch and Fetter.
By all accounts, this is a slam-dunk hire for the Tigers, but only time will tell if Lund’s impact on the pitching staff is as big as the front office hopes.