Tom Brookens will be a conservative third-base coach -- during the exhibition season.

"I'm going to be cautious here in spring training," said Brookens, the Tigers' new third-base coach. "I want to avoid any collisions. The last thing I want to see is a collision at the plate in spring training.

"I'll make a point to tell my guys that anytime in spring training you are sent home and there is a collision scenario at the plate, avoid it. In spring training, don't try to take a catcher out because he's blocking the plate."

The regular season is different.

"In the regular season, I won't make the comment about avoiding collisions," he said. "Most collisions at the plate are unavoidable. The catcher has blocked the plate."

Brookens, the first-base coach the past three seasons, takes over for Gene Lamont, who becomes bench coach. Brookens coached third base for five years while he was a minor league manager in the organization. Rafael Belliard succeeded Brookens as the first-base coach.