Detroit — The Tigers will have a coaching change, after all.
Darnell Coles, who spent the past season as first-year manager Brad Ausmus' assistant hitting coach, left the organization Thursday to return to the Brewers.
In Milwaukee, he will be the hitting coach for a team that torched opposing pitchers the first half of 2014, but fell off drastically down the stretch, a big reason it faded in the National League Central. Coles replaces Johnny Narron.
Coles, 52, coached and managed in the Brewers' minor-league system from 2010-13 and had been promoted to Triple-A Nashville manager just before Ausmus hired him last offseason to work under Tigers hitting coach Wally Joyner.
"I've watched a lot of these guys swing and I've watched a lot of these guys grow into good major-league hitters," Coles told The News, speaking of his knowledge of the Brewers roster. "I'm trying to go there and not reinvent the wheel, but put every player in the best possible position to be successful."
Coles interviewed for the job earlier in the week, and said things transpired rather quickly.
He was grateful for his time in Detroit, thanking, specifically, Ausmus, Joyner and general manager Dave Dombrowski. He also was very appreciative to be able to work with such esteemed hitters as Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, their preparation as instrumental to him as he was to them.
"There's not another Miggy. There's not another Victor, either," Coles said, laughing. "It's a special group. You get to work with guys every day that understand what it's like to play championship-caliber baseball — the work they put in, in the cage, from the early work to the things they do just before the game that allows them to go into the game and do special things.
"It's a special group."
As a player, Coles had a 14-year career, including parts of three seasons with the Tigers.
There is no set timetable to hire Coles' replacement. Some candidates could include Triple-A hitting coach Leon Durham, Double-A hitting coach Gerald Perry and short-season Connecticut manager Mike Rabelo. Craig Biggio, Ausmus' good pal from his Houston days, could be a long-shot candidate, though it's doubtful Biggio would want to leave his cushy job in the Astros' front office.
The rest of Ausmus' staff is expected to return in 2015, Dombrowski said recently.