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Updated: Nats clean house with coaching staff, hope some return

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Updated: Nats clean house with coaching staff, hope some return

UPDATED: 2:24 p.m.

The Nationals did not only part ways with manager Matt Williams on Monday morning, they let go of their entire coaching staff.

That list includes bench coach Randy Knorr, pitching coach Steve McCatty, hitting coach Rick Schu, first base coach Tony Tarasco, third base coach Bob Henley, defensive coordinator Mark Weidemaier and bullpen coach Matt LeCroy. All had contracts that were not renewed by the team.

That, however, is not to say none of them will return. GM Mike Rizzo announced on Monday that he has offered jobs to several of the assistant coaches to rejoin the team in different capacities.

"It's very tough to let anybody go that you're close to and you've worked with as much as I have with these people. We have not offered a renewal of a contract for any of our coaching staff. But that's not to say that some of the coaches will not be back if the new manager decides they are people they would like to have on the staff. It also doesn't restrict us from hiring them in different capacities in and around our system," Rizzo said.

Knorr, McCatty, Tarasco and Schu preceded Williams on the Nationals coaching staff. Henley and LeCroy were all part of the organization before Williams arrived in Washington.

Knorr has tied to the franchise dating back to 2001 when he last appeared in the majors with the Montreal Expos. He was a manager in the Nats' minor league system from 2005 to 2011 and became the bench coach for the big league team in 2012. Knorr interviewed for Nats' manager position in the fall of 2013 before Williams was hired and was retained after losing out on the job.

McCatty had been with the Nationals for seven seasons. The Nats pitching staff led the majors in ERA (3.03) and starters ERA (3.04) in 2014, but fell way short of expectations in 2015.

Schu joined the Nationals in the middle of the 2013 season as hitting coach after David Eckstein was fired. He spent five total seasons in the organization.

Tarasco was on the Nats' coaching staff for three seasons. He also spent the previous seven years in player development roles.

Henley and LeCroy were promoted to the big leagues from minor league coaching positions when Williams was hired before the 2014 season. Henley spent 22 years with the franchise and LeCroy lasted seven. Weidemaier joined the organization before the 2014 campaign as a new hire.

"We love all these guys. They've been with us for years and years and they've done a great job for the organization throughout their time here. We certainly hope that a handful of these guys take us up on the opportunity to work with us in a different capacity," Rizzo said.

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.