The Nationals finished reframing their coaching staff by adding longtime organization member Randy Knorr to coach first base and moving Bob Henley back to third.
Knorr, 51, managed in Single-A Savannah in 2005 before moving to the Single-A Potomac Nationals in 2006. He has been with the organization since, at times considered for the Nationals’ managerial position full-time, and become one of the most-liked figures at any level. He has also been a bullpen coach and bench coach at the major-league level before managing the team’s Triple-A affiliate when it was in Syracuse then in Fresno.
Adding him once again to the major-league staff concludes changes made this offseason by Davey Martinez, who signed a three-year contract extension in September. Third base coach Chip Hale and pitching coach Paul Menhart were not retained. Jim Hickey replaced Menhart and Knorr takes the open spot created by Hale moving on.
Henley remains with the staff, moving back to third base where his windmilling arm often provides consternation to on-lookers. Henley started his coaching career in 2003 as the manager of the Gulf Coast League Expos before the organization relocated to Washington. He’s worked in various capacities since. At this point, he is part outfield coach, part batting practice pitcher for the pitchers, part third base coach and part frenzied motivational speaker. Overall, Henley is in his 27th season with the Montreal/Washington franchise, 19th as a coach and eighth on the Major League staff.
Kevin Long was gone, then returned to his role as hitting coach. He is on a one-year contract. Pat Roessler also comes back with him to work as the assistant hitting coach for a second season.
Tim Bogar retains his position as bench coach. Henry Blanco remains the bullpen coach.
When changes were first being made, it appeared Martinez was making large alterations to his coaching staff to round it out with people he knew well. Instead, the only outside hire became Hickey, whom Martinez knew from working with him in Tampa Bay.