There's a new coach on the Nationals staff. Triple-A Syracuse manager Trent Jewett has joined the Nationals for the remainder of the regular season, his first time in the majors since 2002, when he served as the Pittsburgh Pirates' third base coach.
"You help out where you can. You lend an ear when you can and an opinion when you can. At the same time, you try not to engage anything that would block the progress of something that somebody has going. I've done it before, I'm comfortable with it and comfortable with the people here," Jewett said.
Jewett has spent the past two seasons in Washington's minor league system, first managing Single-A Potomac in 2009 and taking over at Syracuse in 2010. Jewett led the Chiefs to a 76-67 record, good for second place in the International League's Northern Division.
Seeing players he managed in Syracuse on a major league stage helps the 46-year-old Jewett validate his role in the player development process.
"The nice part about it is you see the players who have graduated in this element, amongst major league players. It gives you a full perspective of where they stand," he said. "It's good to see the guys in this element. You spend a lot of time with them at other levels and they have success and when you get to come to the ultimate level, it's good to see them."
Nationals manager Jim Riggleman is happy to have Jewett's help, especially his perspective on some of the team's younger players. The skipper considers Jewett "another set of eyes." And newcomers to the majors - like catcher Wilson Ramos and infielder Danny Espinosa - have a familiar face in the clubhouse.
"I think there's a comfort level there that some of them relied on Trent in the minor leagues. Now that Trent's here it's another person they can go to and bounce an idea off of or whatever," Riggleman said.
Jewett happily accepted the assignment, even if it meant postponing his offseason for a few more weeks.
"It's just another road trip," he said with a smile.