Belliard leaves Braves for Tigers

Braves' Minor League Fielding Instructor Rafael Belliard has joined his former Manager Jim Leyland on the Tigers' major league coaching staff.

Former Braves' shortstop Rafael Belliard is headed to Detroit to join Jim Leyland's coaching staff with the Tigers.

Belliard has been a minor league fielding instructor for the Braves for the last six seasons. He played with Atlanta from 1991 through 1998. Belliard was the starter for much of the 1991 season, but after that was relagated to a backup role.

Known as a fine fielder for most of his career, Belliard was on the field when the Braves closed out Game Six of the 1995 World Series against the Indians.

The native of the Dominican Republic started his career in Pittsburgh in 1982. He played five seasons for Leyland starting in 1986.

Belliard has been instrumental in the development of several of the Braves' young infielders, including Marcus Giles, Rafael Furcal, Wilson Betemit, and even first baseman Adam LaRoche.

He joins former Pirates' teammates Don Slaught, Lloyd McClendon, and Andy Van Slyke on Leyland's staff in Detroit.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team. Bill can be reached at

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