Hitting coach Kevin Long reportedly not returning to Nationals


The Nationals will be looking elsewhere for their hitting coach in 2021 and beyond, according to a report by MLB Network Insider Mark Feinsand.

Feinsand reported Saturday afternoon that incumbent Kevin Long, whose contract expires at the end of the month, planned to pursue other options outside of the nation's capital.

Long experienced a lot of success in Washington, though the exact influence of the team's hitting coach is unclear. The Nationals finished 10th, 6th and 8th in runs per game across Major League Baseball in the last three seasons under Long. But under the previous regime, they finished, 5th, 8th and 10th in the three preceding years.

Of course, the Nationals did win the 2019 World Series on the backs of a number of young hitters who developed under Long's tutelage, including Juan Soto, Victor Robles and Trea Turner. And the Nats have had to deal with attrition, losing stars like Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon in the past two offseasons.

After agreeing to a contract extension with manager Davey Martinez, this is the latest development for the Nats coaching staff. It remains unclear how much turnover to expect across the league after a pandemic-shortened 2020 MLB season.