Randy Tomlin announced at the end of last season that he had decided to take a leave of absence for family reasons. The Harrisburg Senators' pitching coach stepped away from the game and is currently with his family at home in Lynchburg, Va., but is still keeping up with the Nationals' organization and hopes to return soon.
"We are doing well," Tomlin said. "The decision to leave was something I felt I had to do to take care of some very pressing needs here at home within my family. It was something that I could not put off any longer. The timing was bad because we loved the Nationals and still do. I check every day on the Web site to see what is going on and I keep in touch with the guys. We miss them a lot. It was just something I had to do."
Nationals director of player development Doug Harris spoke with Tomlin when he made the decision and told the former pitching coach the franchise would welcome him back when he wanted to get back into the game. Tomlin was relieved to hear the Nationals' understanding and is excited about returning to coaching in the future.
"I certainly hope that I can return down the road," Tomlin said. "When I talked with Doug and explained what I had to do, I told him I certainly (didn't believe) it would be an extended time I would be out. Hopefully, I take care of this and it will work out. I was very glad that he said the door is open. I would certainly hope that I could return."
Tomlin was instrumental in working with the Nationals' top pitching prospects, including Brad Peacock, Tommy Milone, Brad Meyers, Daniel Rosenbaum, Pat Lehman, Rafael Martin, Hassan Pena and so many others. (I asked Tomlin about all these prospects and several more, so check in the next few weeks for updates on the Nationals' young pitching prospects).
Tomlin believes, even with the loss of Peacock and Milone to Oakland and Meyers to the Yankees, the system is still stocked with talent.
"I am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and the opportunity that is out there," Tomlin said. "I am going to enjoy watching the guys go after it this year and see what they can do."
Paul Menhart will take Tomlin's place as pitching coach for the Senators.