Nationals add Henry Blanco to coaching staff

The Washington Nationals finalized manager Dave Martinez’s coaching staff on Wednesday, adding Henry Blanco as the bullpen coach. Blanco joins bench coach Chip Hale, pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, hitting coach Kevin Long, first base coach Tim Bogar, third base coach Bobby Henley, and assistant hitting coach Joe Dillon. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Blanco, 46, joins the Nationals staff after serving as the Chicago Cubs’ quality assurance coach for three seasons. The 2018 season will mark his fifth season as a coach, adding a year as an assistant coach/bullpen catcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014, and his 29th in professional baseball. Blanco joined the coaching ranks after a 16-year Major League career.

A catcher during his playing career, Blanco appeared with 11 different Major League teams. Originally signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent in November, 1989, Blanco appeared in the Major Leagues for the Dodgers (1997), Rockies (1999), Brewers (2000-01), Braves (2002-03), Twins (2004), Cubs (2005-08), Padres (2009), Mets (2010), Diamondbacks (2011-12), Blue Jays (2013), and Mariners (2013). Blanco finished his Major League career with a 40.5 percent caught-stealing percentage (245-for-605), and 29 games shy of becoming the eighth player from Venezuela to appear in 1,000 MLB games.