The Nationals announced a flurry of new coaching and organizational hires this morning. Per the club’s official announcement, the club has hired more than twenty additional staff members, including to fill fourteen new roles added to their system. The hirings of fifteen-year big-league veteran Coco Crisp (as outfield/baserunning coordinator) and 2003 AL batting champ Bill Mueller (as quality control coordinator) were reported last night (via Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post).
The expansion follows a trend in the game that has seen clubs invest substantial resources in support staff, particularly in player development. Among others, the new roles in the organization in 2022 include mental skills coordinator, nutritionist, lower level pitching and hitting coordinators, and a developmental coach at each of the Nats’ four minor league affiliates as well as in the Florida Complex League and the Dominican Summer League.
As Dougherty notes in a piece for the Post, the Nationals ranked dead-last in staff size in 2021, with vacancies even at several MLB-standard positions, including catching coordinator. The club also didn’t have a single full-time staffer assigned to handle its video needs, with the video work necessary for advanced scouting left to an intern at each affiliate. While the blame for a long-barren farm system (commonly ranked among the worst in the game before the Max Scherzer/Trea Turner blockbuster at the 2021 deadline netted a return that included high-end prospects Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray) lies at least in part on trades that shipped out Lucas Giolito, Jesus Luzardo, and others to boost the big-league squad (a project that culminated in a 2019 World Series victory), a thin developmental staff can’t have helped.
Notable hires throughout the system include Joel Hanrahan, whose seven seasons in the bigs included parts of three in DC, as the pitching coach at Low-A Fredericksburg; Delwyn Young, who spent parts of five seasons with the Dodgers and Pirates, as the hitting coach at Fredericksburg; and Dave Jauss, who’s been a big-league assistant with the Pirates, Orioles, Dodgers, and Red Sox and served as the Mets bench coach in 2021, as senior adviser for player development. A full accounting of the Nationals’ non-major league staff can be found in this thread from Jessica Camerato of MLB.com.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Now they just need to get rid of Rizzo so he can quit giving Boras top dollar on his free agents. He seems to bid against himself.
Not a Nats fan but I think he’s done a good job. That Scherzer signing was perhaps the best FA signing ever. They won a WS. Be careful what you wish for – you might get it.
Absolutely agree. If Scherzer isn’t the best FA ever, he is certainly the best FA pitcher ever. The Nats won a WS and sometimes you have to pay the piper to do it, and then you also have to realize when it’s time to start over and Rizzo gets that. He has to replenish his minor league system after using it to fill holes and get that trophy. Anyone will tell you it’s all worth it.
Rizzo has been one of the most successful pieces of the Nationals puzzle over the years.
He’s had his failed moves which I’m sure you could pick and choose to point out.
But name me one GM with a perfect record?
He’s also hit some homeruns and I’d say that many if not most knowledgeable Nats fans would fight you over cutting ties with Mike Rizzo.
He also has to deal with ownership intervention on most of the major ticket deals. Not sure exactly the ratio of say but I trust Rizzo a lot more than Lerner/Boras.
Naaw… Rizzo is good. Teams like all businesses go through cycles. Nats are in the trough right now. It’s tough to GM when the owner sidesteps your decisions.
If any team needed this it was the Nats. Their next couple of seasons look grim right now. They need to develop their players in the minors to build their next competitive team. Hopefully they can get that done before Soto becomes a free agent. He seems likely to walk if the Nats are not at least competitive when his time is up.
Sid Bream Speed Demon
Gnats are a poverty franchise in disguise. Pathetic how they keep giving deferred money in their contracts so often.
They have one of the wealthiest owners in baseball.
They consistently push the luxury tax limits and are one of the higher spending clubs every year.
They also are embroiled in an ongoing legal battle with the Orioles over valuable TV rights in their marketplace which can hamstring current and future spending.
Don’t confuse the Nationals with the Pirates. Although misery loves company.
Goes both ways. Free agents don’t have to sign a deal with deferred money.
I’m kind of surprised that we aren’t hearing other organizations restocking their front office and support staff now that fans are back. Im not saying for the same reasons that the Nats are doing it, but I’m talking about all of the clubs that greatly reduced staffing when no fans were in the stands.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
We will say how the fans take it if the baseball season doesn’t start on time. I remember 1994.
I assume Crisp will be in charge of breakfast in addition to his other duties
Finally hiring a nutritionist and a mental skills guy? Yikes.