By John L. Pitts
Shannon’s Dave Clark, a veteran major league coach, joined the staff of the American League contender Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.
Clark, 51, spent the past five seasons on the coaching staff of the Houston Astros. He’ll be the third-base coach and outfield instructor for new Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, who steps in after the recent retirement of Jim Leyland.
Clark is “a highly respected baseball man as well as a quality individual,” Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowki told the Detroit Free Press.
It’s a significant upgrade in circumstances for Clark.
Detroit reached the 2013 AL Championship Series after a 93-69 regular season. Houston went 51-111 – the team’s fifth consecutive losing season.
Milwaukee media reported that Clark was finalizing plans to be the manager for the Brewers’ Double-A team in Huntsville, Ala., before the Tigers’ job was offered.
Clark was a first-round draft pick (11th overall) by the Cleveland Indians in 1983. He played 13 seasons for six major-league teams, finishing with a .264 career average.
In five of those seasons, he played for Leyland in Pittsburgh.
Clarkwas a minor league manager from 2003 through 2008 then joined the Astros’ staff – four seasons as third base coach and this past season as first base coach.
In 2009, he served as interim manager for the Astros’ last 13 games, going 4-9.
Ausmus will retain Jeff Jones as the Tigers’ pitching coach. Jones and Clark each signed two-year contracts.