The Nationals have added former major league catcher Michael Barrett to their minor league staff and will bring in a former Double-A Manager of the Year to be the new skipper at Triple-A Syracuse, a source with knowledge of the appointments told MASNSports.com.
Also, former Nationals pitcher Tim Redding is back with the organization after being named pitching coach at short-season Single-A Auburn.
Billy Gardner Jr., the 2012 Southern League Manager of the Year with Montgomery of the Tampa Bay organization, becomes the new manager for Syracuse. Gardner managed the Biscuits for seven years and has 19 years of managerial experience in the Red Sox, Twins, Reds and Rays systems.
The 37-year-old Barrett, who played in the majors from 1998-2009 with the Expos, Cubs, Padres and Blue Jays, makes his managerial debut with the rookie-level Gulf Coast Nationals. Barrett was really impressive in the interview process and came across with a strong humility and an eagerness to coach and teach the Nats’ youngest prospects.
Gardner has been a manager for 19 seasons, most recently with the Montgomery Biscuits of the Double-A Southern League. The 47-year-old, from New London, Conn., guided the Biscuits to the 2007 league title and also won a championship with the Single-A South Atlantic League’s Augusta Greenjackets in 1999.
Gardner’s father, Billy Gardner, managed the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals after spending a decade as a second baseman in the majors from 1954-1963. Gardner was with the Washington Senators in 1960. He won World Series championships as a player with the 1954 Giants and 1961 Yankees.
The other coaching highlights include the entire high Single-A Potomac staff moving up to Double-A Harrisburg.
Patrick Anderson becomes the skipper for low Single-A Hagerstown. Tripp Keister is the manager for high Single-A Potomac. Brian Daubach is the new skipper for Harrisburg.
Paul Menhart goes from Harrisburg to become the new pitching coach for Triple-A Syracuse.
Joe Dillon is the new hitting coach for Syracuse. The 38-year-old Dillon, from Modesto, Calif., was a utility fielder who played in the majors for 122 games with Florida, Milwaukee and Tampa Bay from 2005-2008.
Former Syracuse manager Tony Beasley is now the co-field coordinator for the Nationals, alongside former infield coordinator Jeff Garber. It was previously announced that former Double-A Harrisburg manager Matt Lecroy will be the bullpen coach for the Nationals. Bobby Henley is the new third base coach for the Nats.
Troy Gingrich is the new hitting coordinator, placing Rick Schu. Gingrich was the hitting coach for Triple-A Syracuse while Schu continues as the hitting coach for the Nationals.
Jon Kotredes is now the Nationals medical and rehab coordinator, replacing Mike McGowan, who is no longer with the organization. Kotredes was the athletic trainer last season at Harrisburg and begins his sixth season with the organization.
The Double-A Harrisburg coaching staff will be Daubach as manager, hitting coach Mark Harris and pitching coach Chris Michalak. All were very successful last season in guiding the P-Nats to the Mills Cup finals.
High Single-A Potomac will have Keister as manager, Brian Rupp as hitting coach and Franklin Bravo as pitching coach. The entire staff moves up from Hagerstown.
Low Single-A Hagerstown will be managed by Patrick Anderson, who skippered the GCL Nats to a championship last season. The Suns’ pitching coach will be Sam Narron and the hitting coach is Luis Ordaz. Narron was the pitching coach at Auburn last season and Ordaz was in charge of the Doubledays hitters.
Gary Cathcart is the roving instructor again for the first half of the season and then manages Auburn beginning in June. Cathcart’s invaluable role is similar to Pat Kelly of the Reds, and he will be crucial to getting the young draft picks integrated into their first seasons in pro ball.
Redding, who pitched for the Nationals from 2007-2008 and most recently attempted to make the Blue Jays roster in 2012, will be the Auburn pitching coach. Former GCL Nats hitting coach Amaury Garcia takes the same responsibility with the Doubledays.
Barrett will manage the GCL Nats. His pitching coach is Michael Tejera, while the hitting coach will be Jorge Mejia.
The Dominican Summer League manager is again Sandy Martinez. The DSL Nats’ hitting coach will be Jose Herrera and the pitching coach continues to Pablo Frias.