The Nationals announced Tuesday that they’ve hired recently retired left-hander Sean Doolittle and added him to the coaching staff in the role of pitching strategist. He’ll serve as a liaison between the club’s analytics department and pitching staff, per the announcement. He’ll also work with manager Davey Martinez, pitching coach Jim Hickey and bullpen coach Ricky Bones and assist with aspects of the job like pitching strategy, pitcher mechanics and mental preparation for the team’s pitching staff.
“Sean Doolittle was always an extremely talented pitcher, but he is also one of the most intelligent baseball minds you can find,” president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo said within today’s press release announcing the hire. “We’re incredibly excited to have him on our staff to help guide our talented group of young pitchers.”
Doolittle, 37, spent parts of five seasons pitching with the Nationals and spent the 2023 campaign there as well, although his comeback bid from elbow surgery ended before he was able to return to a big league mound. From 2012-22, he pitched 450 2/3 regular season innings between the A’s, Nats, Reds and Mariners, logging a combined 3.20 ERA with a 29% strikeout rate, 5.7% walk rate, 82 holds and 112 saves. He added another 22 1/3 innings of 2.42 ERA ball in the postseason, including an outstanding run in 2019 when he was a focal point of the Nationals’ World Series-winning bullpen; Doolittle delivered 10 1/3 innings that October, saving a pair of games and notching three holds while limiting opponents to a pair of runs on six hits and a walk with eight punchouts (1.74 ERA).
“I can’t thank the Lerner family, Mike Rizzo and Davey Martinez enough for all they’ve done for me and my family,” Doolittle said in his own statement on the hiring. “I love the Nationals and Washington D.C., and look forward to this new challenge while remaining an active member of an organization that means so much to me.”