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Knorr, Henley, LeCroy will remain with Nats organization

Oct 12, 2015, 12:26 PM EDT

AP

Three members of the Nationals’ coaching staff who were dismissed with manager Matt Williams last week will remain with the organization in new roles next season, the club announced Monday.

Randy Knorr, who had served as bench coach for both Williams and Davey Johnson, has accepted a newly created position: senior assistant to the general manager for player development. A player, coach or minor-league manager with the Expos/Nationals organization since 2001, Knorr had been revealed by general manager Mike Rizzo as a candidate for the vacant managerial position, but it appears the 46-year-old will be remaining in a different capacity.

Bob Henley, the Nationals’ third base coach the last two seasons, will become senior adviser for player development. A member of the organization since the Expos drafted him in 1991, Henley had spent much of the last decade as the club’s minor-league field coordinator and/or manager of its Gulf Coast League team in Viera, Fla.

Matt LeCroy, who had been Williams’ bullpen coach, will become manager at Class AA Harrisburg, a position he held from 2012-13. The former major-league catcher and DH had previously managed at low-Class A Hagerstown and high-Class A Potomac.

Brian Daubach, who had managed at Harrisburg, will become hitting coach at Class AAA Syracuse.

Steve McCatty (pitching coach), Rick Schu (hitting coach), Tony Tarasco (first base coach) and Mark Weidemaier (defensive coordinator, advance coach) were the other members of Williams’ big-league staff and were dismissed last week.

  1. ptindc - Oct 12, 2015 at 1:00 PM

    So I wonder if the other coaches received offers similar to these and rejected them, or if they haven’t been offered other options to remain with the club.

    • trfwans - Oct 12, 2015 at 1:36 PM

      McCatty and Schu have probably received similar offers but are sitting on them until the new manager is chosen and chooses his staff. The new guy might want them back. Meanwhile, they can look for pitching coach/hitting coach jobs with another club, but realistically there are very few such jobs available. If they don’t catch on with the Nats or another club as a coach, they will stay with the Nats in some sort of organizational pitching/hitting coordinator role that is a step above being a minor league coach.

    • theoneontheleft2 - Oct 12, 2015 at 1:45 PM

      Given the failures at pitching, I’d be surprised if McCatty was offered anything. Indeed, He in fact should have been gone after 2012, when it was clear no one on the staff had ever been trained to hold runners on 1st

      • jfmii - Oct 12, 2015 at 3:16 PM

        I believe exacty the opposite, theoneontheleft2. I think under McCatty they made a concerted and successful effort to get a lot better at holding runners after 2012.

  2. philipd763 - Oct 12, 2015 at 1:13 PM

    Mike Rizzo has a one track mind and that’s one of his problems. Apparently, one of the first people to be interviewed for the managers job is Phil Nevin of the (you guessed it) Diamondback organization! Another former player with no major league managerial experience, much like MW, albeit with more minor league managerial experience than MW.

    • ptindc - Oct 12, 2015 at 1:24 PM

      I thought the same thing. The only manager candidate I would want from the Diamondbacks is Tony LaRussa.

  3. JayB - Oct 12, 2015 at 1:14 PM

    rizzo said at the time that he hoped a subset or he said fraction would come back….that tells me he did not offer all and that Defensive specialist was like the worst in baseball and not a National product anyway….I would guess that Steve M, Rich Schu and Tony T were not offered anything but Minor league jobs and Steve M is not going back to riding buses at his age…he has his 10 years for MLB pension….he is done.

  4. JayB - Oct 12, 2015 at 1:16 PM

    Rizzo is not going to make this decision, Ted Lerner is going to make the decision…it is just how much face saving the others like Rizzo and Mark L want to claim that is in doubt……Ted is not one to let himself get burned twice.

    • sjm308 - Oct 12, 2015 at 10:46 PM

      JayB – I think you are correct and this is the way it should be. Rizzo should do most of the leg work, conduct the interviews and present to the owners the choice he thinks is the best for this team. The owners have every right to ask for more then one candidate. I have no inside knowledge how little or how much Ted and Mark were involved with MW but I think after this experience they will definitely be a part of the process. I would not mind seeing someone hired above Rizzo or having one of the two titles taken by another baseball mind. I think he has just a little too much power. I could live with him as President of Baseball Operations and another GM come in or vice-versa but I think it is time to have another voice in the process.

      • gselkirk - Oct 13, 2015 at 1:19 AM

        I agree Rizzo could still be President of Baseball Ops and have final say. He then could hire a GM with fresh ideas from outside the organization, That is a trend now with Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers and Indians doing it. The more brain power the better.

  5. Doc - Oct 12, 2015 at 2:00 PM

    Yeah it would be nice for Nats’ fans to know that potential managerial and/or coaching support comes from somewhere other than Arizona! Seems like a sign of executive weakness to just rely on previous connections.

    • ArVAFan - Oct 12, 2015 at 2:21 PM

      Is it possible he’s just interviewing him as a “personal favor,” where the guy really has no chance at the job, but Rizzo feels he owes him the courtesy of an interview? Otherwise, I agree that the interview is an eyebrow raiser.

    • jd - Oct 12, 2015 at 2:46 PM

      Nevin has only been in the DBacks org. since 2014 which is years after Rizzo left. Lets stop making something out of nothing.

  6. langleyclub - Oct 12, 2015 at 2:52 PM

    No chance McCatty is back. Not sure McCatty would’ve been back if the Nats had won enough games (and kept their fights out of the publc eye) to keep MW. The pitching staff as a whole completely underperformed in 2015, and MW failures to handle the bullpen also have to fall at least partially on McCatty. He seems like a great guy, but I think the pitching staff needs to fresh blood.

    Wonder if Henley or Knorr will have chance to coach on the Nats MLB staff when the next hire is made, or if they are moving to the front office regardless if there are staff openings.

    • jd - Oct 12, 2015 at 2:59 PM

      langley,

      If you hire a manager with any sort of pedigree you have to let them be involved in building the coaching staff. My gut feeling is that the Nats will have a completely new coaching team in 2016.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Oct 12, 2015 at 4:05 PM

        Exactly, jd. Also agree with langleyclub that Steve McCatty’s time with the Nats was up. By the end of the season, the overall dysfunction was such that you really have to start from scratch with the coaching staff.

      • trfwans - Oct 12, 2015 at 5:52 PM

        There are no shadow managerial governments floating around MLB, no cult-of-personality coaching staffs waiting to follow their leader to whichever team hires him. And from a practical standpoint, no new manager would want his entire coaching staff to be unfamiliar with the players and personnel in his organization. For this reason, at least a few of the 2015 coaches are likely to be retained by the new manager. Most likely candidates for retention are McCatty and Schu, the coaches most familiar with the pitchers and position players throughout the organization.

      • natsguy - Oct 13, 2015 at 12:40 AM

        trfwans,

        McCatty and Schu are the most likely to be gone.

  7. JamesFan - Oct 12, 2015 at 3:44 PM

    The Matt Williams and Papelbon decisions had to cost Rizzo a tremendous amount of credibility with ownership. I’m sure they will engage deeply in the process. Rizzo will be the face of the decision, however.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Oct 12, 2015 at 4:06 PM

      +1

  8. joemktg - Oct 12, 2015 at 4:13 PM

    Happy to see them return to the organization: too valuable not to be retained and deployed within the player development process.

    • ArVAFan - Oct 12, 2015 at 4:51 PM

      Agree. It’s important not to lose institutional memory–too many organizations lose that, and then have to make the same mistakes again.

    • natsfan1a - Oct 12, 2015 at 6:05 PM

      Also agree. Was thinking of them the other day while watching the Cubs/Cardinals game. The broadcasters were nattering on about the Cardinals player development system, the continuity of coaches and other personnel, and how some coaches were rewarded with promotions. Glad to see some of our guys stay in the organization. (Oh, and, btw, go CUBS!! Beat those dirty birdies!! Yeah, I think I’m done now.)

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