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Knorr excited to return as bench coach (plus McCatty note)

Randy Knorr might not have gotten the Nationals' managerial job, but he will return as the team's bench coach next season. And Knorr says he's thrilled to be back in that role. Knorr, who had been one of a handful of candidates to interview for the Nats' managerial vacancy, finalized his deal to return as bench coach today, he said. General manager Mike Rizzo and

Rizzo discusses the Matt Williams hire

General manager Mike Rizzo will introduce Matt Williams to the Washington media and Nationals fans tomorrow at 2 p.m. live on MASN HD. But this afternoon, Rizzo hopped on a conference call with reporters to discuss his hire of Williams as the Nats' next manager. Rizzo said that the Nationals had "a number of highly qualified candidates" inquire about their managerial opening in the last

Nationals officially name Matt Williams manager

Now that the World Series is over, the Nationals can make it official: Matt Williams has been hired as their new manager. Williams, 47, becomes the fifth full-time manager in Nationals history. The team made the announcement late this morning, and Williams will meet with the media tomorrow afternoon during a 2 p.m. press conference that will be televised live on MASN HD. "I feel

Let the offseason begin

The World Series is in the books. The Boston Red Sox are your 2013 champions, bringing an end to quite an entertaining Fall Classic that left us with no shortage of dramatic plays and close calls to discuss around the water cooler. The Red Sox were the most complete team in the postseason, and they earned the title. It marks quite a turnaround from a

Will the Nats be taking home any hardware?

Fans didn't have a say in how the Rawlings Gold Glove Award voting turned out, but if you'd like, you can place your vote for what's called the Platinum Glove Award. The Platinum Glove was created in 2011, and allows fans to determine who they think is the top defensive player in each league, regardless of position. All nine Gold Glove winners in each league

Span, Desmond come up short in Gold Glove voting

The Nationals will not have a Gold Glove winner this season. Center fielder Denard Span and shortstop Ian Desmond, both named as finalists for Rawlings Gold Glove Awards at their respective positions, came up short in the voting. It was announced tonight on ESPN2 that Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez won the Gold Glove for best defensive National League center fielder, while Atlanta's Andrelton Simmons took home

Debating whether the Nats can return to their 2012 form

Even with the way the Nationals underachieved this season, following up a 98-win campaign and a National League East title in 2012 by winning just 86 games and missing out on the postseason this year, there is a sense held by most around the game that the Nats are still a team on the rise. A good portion of the roster from the 2012 season

Should Span be golden?

It's too bad the World Series hasn't been more entertaining through its first four games. All we've seen so far is a game end on an obstruction call (which had never happened before in the postseason), a game end on a pickoff (which had never happened before in the postseason), Jonny Gomes hit a game-winning homer after learning 90 minutes before first pitch he'd been

Plotting out the injury timetables

They got the call right. I hate the fact that a World Series game ended with a controversial call by the umpires, but the important thing is that the correct call was made. The issue last night, and this morning, and going forward, should be that Jarrod Saltalamacchia made a poor decision to throw down to third after the initial out at the plate, and

Strasburg, Harper, LaRoche all have "successful" surgery

The Nationals announced this morning that three players - Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche - underwent "successful" surgery this week. All three guys are expected to be ready for the start of spring training. Strasburg underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow on Friday. The procedure was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. Strasburg is scheduled to

Looking deeper into the Matt Williams hire

The first, and most significant, task the Nationals had to complete this offseason is all but done. Matt Williams is in line to become the Nationals' next manager, something that should become official shortly after the World Series comes to an end. Not surprisingly, the hire has created quite a discussion among many fans, some of whom like the decision made by the Lerner family

Desmond, Span named finalists for Gold Glove awards

For the second straight year, the Nationals have had two players selected as finalists for Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. Last year, it was first baseman Adam LaRoche and shortstop Ian Desmond, with LaRoche taking home his first career Gold Glove. This year, it's Desmond and center fielder Denard Span. The Gold Glove winners will be announced Tuesday beginning at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. Desmond will

Nationals plan to hire Matt Williams as next manager (updated)

The Nationals likely won't make an announcement on who has been hired as their next manager until after the World Series has come to an end, but they've already made their selection. The Nats plan to hire Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams to replace Davey Johnson as their new skipper, a source familiar with the situation confirms. FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal was first to report

Marrero outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse

Former first-round pick Chris Marrero, once viewed as the Nationals' first baseman of the future, was outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse today. This removes Marrero from the Nationals' 40-man roster and means that he'll become a minor league free agent after the World Series is over. The 25-year-old Marrero's time with the Nats is almost certainly now over. Marrero was taken by the Nats with the

Time to get defensive

Last night's game was perhaps the sloppiest I've ever seen the St. Louis Cardinals look. And man, did they pick a bad time to kick the ball all over the place. The Cardinals committed three errors in Game 1 of the World Series last night, but that doesn't even fully tell the story of how poorly they played defensively. In total, four unearned runs were

An early glimpse at the free agent market plus a prediction (updated)

I'm going to give you the stat lines of two right-handed starters who were set to enter the offseason as free agents. These stat lines contain each player's numbers over the last two seasons. For the sake of a decent chuckle, let's compare the two, shall we? Player X: 20-29, 4.76 ERA, 383 2/3 IP, 72 ERA+, 1.389 WHIP, 1.0 HR/9, 3.9 BB/9, 9.0 K/9,

Nats interview DeMarlo Hale for managerial job

Another candidate for the Nationals' managerial job has emerged, as the team recently interviewed Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale, a source familiar with the situation confirmed this afternoon. Hale joins Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams and Padres executive Brad Ausmus as external candidates to have interviewed for the Nationals' managerial opening. Nats bench coach Randy Knorr and third base coach Trent Jewett are

More manager rumblings, arbitration projections

Yesterday was a pretty big day across the Major League Baseball managerial landscape, with Tigers manager Jim Leyland announcing his retirement, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly publicly pressing for a multi-year contract and the Reds reportedly getting set to hire former pitching coach Bryan Price as their new skipper. Leyland's announcement was a bit of a surprise, but now opens up another managerial gig that arguably

Could Clippard or Storen be dealt this offseason?

Outside of finding a new manager, which clearly tops the Nationals' list of offseason priorities, general manager Mike Rizzo has said that one of his biggest goals this winter will be to bolster the bullpen. As a team this season, Nationals relievers pitched to a 3.56 ERA, 17th-best in the majors, and had a .252 batting average against, which ranked 24th in the bigs. Compare

Some of this, some of that

Well, we have our World Series pairing. It'll be a rematch of the 2004 World Series, as the Cardinals will face the Red Sox, both of whom have advanced after winning their respective League Championship Series in six games. Two big swings propelled the Red Sox to their ALCS win - David Ortiz's grand slam into the bullpen in Game 2 and Shane Victorino's Green

Timing out the managerial hire, plus notes on two former Nats

The Nationals are already working their way through the first round of interviews for their vacant managerial position, having met with Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams and Padres executive Brad Ausmus, as well as Randy Knorr, who has served as Nats bench coach the last two seasons. But don't expect to hear any final word on who lands the Nats' managerial job until November.

Sorting through Soriano's first season in Washington

Like many of you, I watched Koji Uehara continue late last night to mow down hitters at an amazing rate in the late innings. Uehara, who has served as the Red Sox closer for the last five months, was called upon to record a five-out save in a one-run game in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series - by no means an easy

Managerial search slowly progressing

The Nationals continue to keep the details of their managerial search hush-hush, but as we get deeper into October, things are slowly starting to progress in that area. The team will interview former big league catcher and current Padres special assistant to baseball operations Brad Ausmus, a source familiar with the Nationals' plans confirmed. FOXSports.com first reported that Ausmus would interview for the Nationals' managerial

A big day for Harper, a big offseason for Ramos

Bryce Harper put up 42 home runs, 117 RBIs and a .834 OPS before turning 21. As of today, he could, if he desired, legally celebrate those accomplishments with a beer. Harper turns 21 today, which is sure to set off plenty of bad "Clown question, bro" jokes online throughout the day. It was up in Toronto after a game last year, of course, that

Jewett another in-house name to watch during managerial search

When discussing the Nationals' in-house managerial candidates over the last handful of weeks, the name that has most often been discussed has been Randy Knorr. That's with good reason. Knorr is very well-respected in the Nats' clubhouse, has a lengthy history as a minor league manager within the organization and has spent time on the Nats' big league coaching staff, most recently as the team's

Looking deeper into Storen's shaky season

Yesterday, I wrote about Ryan Mattheus' turbulent 2013 season and how he dealt with a self-inflicted injury, a demotion to the minors and a mostly subpar string of performances when he was healthy and on the Nationals roster. That led some of you in the comment section to bring up another reliever who struggled at times during the 2013 campaign - Drew Storen. It'd be

Mattheus: "I'm going to have to win my job back"

It would probably be fair to say that Ryan Mattheus had a turbulent 2013 season. After punching up a 2.85 ERA in 66 appearances in 2012, becoming the Nationals' reliable seventh-inning guy, Mattheus had the following happen to him in 2013: He broke his right hand punching a locker after a poor outing in mid-May, knocking him out of action for more than two months,

Marveling at some postseason magic

Boy, does Carlos Beltran dominate the postseason or what? Not only did Beltran go 2-for-6 in last night's National League Championship Series Game 1, driving in two of the Cardinals' three runs in a 3-2 win, including the game-winning run in the 13th inning, but he also threw out a runner at the plate in the top of the 10th, keeping the game tied at

Some of this, some of that

Like the Nationals, the Mariners are looking for a new manager this offseason. They were interested in having their new manager be their old manager, however. FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Mariners made a major effort to try and convince former manager Lou Piniella to return to the dugout and take the reins of that struggling franchise. The 70-year-old Piniella declined, however. With

Pool of managerial candidates gets a little smaller

Well, I guess Joe Girardi won't be going anywhere after all. Girardi was thought to be a main target of the Cubs. The Nationals had expressed interest in discussing their managerial job with him. Other teams surely would have wanted to interview the former big league catcher who won the 2009 World Series as the skipper of the Yankees and has posted a .566 career

More on Moore's rocky season and outlook for 2014

Over the final couple of months of the season, we heard manager Davey Johnson say over and over (and over and over) again that one of the main reasons for the Nationals' struggles for much of the year was that the guys on the bench didn't perform to their ability level. Chad Tracy hit .202 with a .568 OPS and Roger Bernadina hit .178 with

Looking back on the two winter trades

Yesterday an entertaining enough day of baseball for everyone? In four postseason games, we saw a ninth-inning, benches-clearing incident in Detroit; a near no-hitter by 22-year-old Michael Wacha (who came within an out of a no-hitter against the Nationals in his last start prior to yesterday); a walk-off homer that staved off elimination for the Rays; and a series-clinching homer in the bottom of the

Werth selected as Nats' nominee for Hank Aaron Award

Major League Baseball announced today that Jayson Werth has been selected as the Nationals' nominee for the 2013 Hank Aaron Award, which recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each league. Fans can place their vote for the award here through Oct. 10 by visiting MLB.com. The winners of the 2013 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the World Series. Werth hit .318 with

Span: "I can go home and have my head up. I held my own"

If you look at Denard Span's overall numbers for the 2013 season, you probably wouldn't have any indication of just how long the Nationals center fielder struggled offensively this year. Span's career slash line is .283/.351/.387. This season, he hit .279/.327/.380. Not his best work, but not a line that jumps out at you as all that subpar. Yet, for more than four months, Span

Another way to look at the search for a starter

I mentioned yesterday that the emergence of young pitching talent in the Nationals organization could cause general manager Mike Rizzo to view the plans for the back of the rotation differently. Instead of going out and spending a large chunk of money for an experienced free agent starter, like the Nats have the last two offseasons when they acquired Edwin Jackson and Dan Haren, Rizzo

Thinking differently about the back of the rotation

Each of the last two offseasons, the Nationals have added a veteran right-handed starter to complement the back end of their rotation. Edwin Jackson and Dan Haren were supposed to provide experienced, talented options behind a rotation of fairly young starters. They got $11 and $13 million, respectively, and were counted on to make big things happen to help the Nats get over the edge.

Report: Nats ask permission to interview Girardi

The Nationals' search for a manager is officially under way, and not surprisingly, Joe Girardi's name has found its way into the discussion. According to David Kaplan of CSNChicago, the Nationals have requested permission to interview Girardi, who just finished up his sixth season as manager of the Yankees. Girardi is an interesting name to watch this offseason. His contract with the Yankees expires at

Who's your Most Valuable National?

While watching a host of games last night - and man, was there a lot of entertaining sports action on TV with two MLB playoff games, an overtime Capitals game and "Thursday Night Football" - I got into a discussion with my buddy about who should take home National League MVP honors. I feel Andrew McCutchen is deserving of the award after leading the Pirates

LaRoche on weight loss, struggles and confidence he can regain top form

Over the course of the 2013 season, Adam LaRoche lost around 15 pounds and was left playing at a weight he hadn't been measured at since high school. The medicine that LaRoche took to combat his attention deficit disorder (ADD) sapped his appetite and left him down in the low-190 lb. range, as compared to the 205-210 lbs. at which he typically plays. A couple

Rendon won't be handed starting second base job this spring

On June 5 of this season, Anthony Rendon started his first big league game at second base. Rendon had been promoted from Triple-A Syracuse the day prior, marking his second stint with the Nationals, and Danny Espinosa, who had been the Nats' starting second baseman the vast majority of the season up to that point, had been placed on the disabled list. That day, June

Zimmerman not moving off the hot corner anytime soon

Last night's Rays win over the Rangers in the American League play-in game means that former Nationals great David DeJesus will taste the postseason for the first time in his 11-year big league career. What do you think DeJesus will remember most about this season - finally reaching the playoffs, or those three at-bats he got in a Nationals uniform back in August? They're probably

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