After completely reworking his coaching staff, Jim Hickey was named the Nationals new pitching coach.
Jim Hickey was the Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach from 2007-2017, and throughout his tenure with the Rays, he overlapped with Nationals Manager Dave Martinez. From 2008-2014, Martinez was the Rays bench coach. Three years after being hired to manage the Nats, Martinez is finally starting to build his own coaching staff. Bringing in some familiarity in Hickey is a smart move, with Martinez starting to branch out on his own. For the past three years, he was still working with multiple coaches leftover from the Dusty Baker regime.
Hickey has some major shoes to fill, as his predecessor Paul Menhart was instrumental in helping the Nationals bullpen slowly turn things around in 2019. But Martinez believes Hickey is the right guy for the job. When talking about the hiring, Martinez stated,
"“He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion to the job,”. “He’s led a lot of really good pitching staffs over the years and has been a part of many successful clubs along the way. He’s helped countless pitchers improve, achieve their full potential and become All-Stars.”"
Over the past two seasons, Hickey spent time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as a special assistant for player development. Before that, he reunited with Joe Maddon in Chicago as the Cubs 2018 pitching coach. Hickey started his career working his way up the Houston Astros coaching system. From 1996-2003, Jim Hickey was the pitching coach for the different teams in the Astros minor league system. In 2004, he was named the Astros interim pitching coach and held that coach through 2006.
Over his time as a pitching coach, Hickey has worked with Hall of Famers and Cy Young winners. The list includes Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Roy Oswalt, James Shields, David Price, Blake Snell, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish. Now he will get an opportunity to work with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin. Nationals fans should be very excited about the future.
Very, very excited.