A week ago today, the Washington Nationals decided to fire their manager, Matt Williams. Along with the firing of Williams, president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo also announced the dismissal of the coaching staff. Today, Rizzo brought some of those men back and put them in different roles within the organization, which included Randy Knorr, Bob Henley, and Matt LeCroy:
First, let’s start with Randy Knorr, who was a candidate to become the Nats’ next manager. Knorr will be the Senior Assistant to Rizzo. Knorr has been with the organization since 2001 and it was a surprise to some that the organization let him go at the time because of the respect he has had from players in the clubhouse when he was the bench coach under Williams and Davey Johnson.
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Bob Henley will go from being the third base coach since 2014 to being a senior adviser to player development. Henley does have experience working in the minor leagues, whether it has been as a field coordinator in the minors or his time managing in the Expos/Nats’ farm system from 2003-2009 at levels such as the Gulf Coast League, the Savannah Sand Gnats in the South Atlantic League (2004) and the high-A Potomac Nationals (2005).
There will also be some new managers in the minor league system next season. Matt LeCroy, who played first base and catcher for the Nats in 2006, will be the manager for the double-A Harrisburg Senators. LeCroy was the bullpen coach for Williams this past season, but he does have three years of minor league experience. He managed the Potomac Nationals in the Carolina League in 2011 and was the manager of the Senators in 2012 and 2013. During those two seasons, LeCroy’s teams went 141-143, but the Senators did reach the Eastern League championship series during the 2013 season.
With LeCroy becoming the manager in Harrisburg, it means there will be a new role for Brian Daubach in 2016. Daubach, who has been the manager in Harrisburg each of the last two seasons (120-154) will become the new hitting coach at triple-A Syracuse. Daubach has been a manager in the Nats’ system since 2010, whether it has been in low-A Hagerstown, Potomac, or Harrisburg. Daubach will take over the role that Joe Dillon has had with the triple-A club since 2014.