The Washington Nationals have announced the addition of Tony Tarasco as first base coach to Davey Johnson’s 2013 staff. Trent Jewett will transition from first to third base coach next season with the departure of Bo Porter to manage the Astros.
The bench coach will remain Randy Knorr, Steve McCatty will stay on as pitching coach, Jim Lett will coach the bullpen, and Rick Eckstein will be back once again as hitting coach.
Tarasco joins the Nationals at the major league level after seven seasons in various roles in the organization. He spent the last two seasons as the outfield and baserunning coordinator after serving three years as hitting coach of the Hagerstown Suns. Previous to his time in Single-A, Tarasco was the hitting coach for two seasons for Vermont of the rookie-level New York-Penn League.
Tarasco played under Davey Johnson for the Baltimore Orioles in 1996 and 1997 and was the right fielder on Derek Jeter’s controversial home run in the 1996 ALCS. He was under the ball at the warning track when Yankees fan Jeffrey Maier reached over and interfered to make the catch.
Tarasco played eight seasons in the majors with stops in Atlanta, Cincinnati, New York with both the Yankees and Mets, and with the Montreal Expos.
The Washington Nationals have had a less than ideal season thus far.
The reigning N.L. East champs entered the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of first place, have a new manager that has gotten his fair share of criticism, are riddled with injuries contributing to a lengthy disabled list and seem to be frustrated to no end on the baseball field.
In his first game back following a right shoulder injury that landed him on the DL for over a month, Stephen Strasburg started Friday night's game in Washington against the Braves, one of tewo teams above the Nats in the East standings.
Following a poor outing in the fifth inning in which Davey Martinez decided to pull Strasburg, fellow ace Max Scherzer attempted to greet the starter. Strasburg brushed Scherzer off as he sat down on the bench and the two got into what seemed like a very heated exchange.
The Nationals never recovered from Strasburg's start and fell to the Braves 8-5 in Washington.
The frustration was evident as Martinez met with Scherzer and Strasburg to hash out the argument, delaying postgame clubhouse access to the media while their meeting was going on.
The meeting was kept under lock by Martinez, Scherzer, and Strasburg, who chalked it up to just being a part of the "family."
According to Martinez, the dugout conversation was hashed out and he immediately brushed it off when pressed for questions.
The Nationals look to even up the series against The Braves in Washington tonight.
MORE NATIONALS NEWS:
Friday night marks the first second-half game of Major League Baseball's 162-game season.
The Washington Nationals begin 5.5 games out of the first-place Phillies and host the second-place Braves for a three-game series before traveling to Milwaukee.
One big piece to Dave Martinez's staff who has been missing since June 8 is Stephen Strasburg. The right-hander was activated from the DL and will start on the mound Friday night.
Ryan Zimmerman was also activated but is not in Martinez's starting lineup.
Prior to experiencing inflammation in his right shoulder during a June 8 start that forced him out of the game early, Strasburg saw flashes of dominance throughout his 13 starts owning a 3.46 ERA with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
Zimmerman hasn't played since May 9 due to a strained right oblique. With the emergence of Matt Adams, it will be interesting to see how Martinez uses both guys throughout the summer.
Here is a look at Friday night's official lineup:
According to Byron Kerr, Zimmerman is still happy to be back, despite not being in the starting lineup.
Catch the Nationals hosting the Braves Friday at 7:05 p.m. on MASN2.