For the 2018 Washington Nationals, the biggest change might be the coaching staff. An experienced and hungry bunch, lets meet them.
The Washington Nationals roll into 2018 with an mostly new coaching staff.
Behind first-time manager Dave Martinez is a team of coaches brimming with experience as players and teachers. The Nats hope this wholesale change is enough to get Washington over the playoff hump and into their first World Series.
How well they work together and gets the players in the right direction determines how far everyone goes. Losing the wisdom of pitching coach Mike Maddux and first base coach Davey Lopes hurts. Others marveled at Rick Schu’s work ethic as hitting coach.
Then again, the philosophy offered by former manager Dusty Baker brought consecutive division titles to Washington for the first time in franchise history. Everybody has big shoes to fill except Bob Henley. His cleats continue fitting fine at third base.
In an off-season promising little in overall change, here are a few words on each of the new faces we will get to know next summer. How much impact any coach has on a game is debatable, but these men are the teachers, sounding board and caretakers of the Nats.
Between teaching fundamentals, keeping egos in check and offering encouragement, it is their job to meld the players into a championship team. No pressure there.
Their job is often thankless. No one outside family members is heading to the team store for a jersey with their name on the back. Mistakes are magnified while successes are found on the bottom of Chelsea Janes’ note columns in The Washington Post.
Let’s meet your Nats 2018 coaching staff.