NEW YORK – Davey Martinez reiterated today what he suggested this summer after his contract option was picked up: His entire coaching staff will return to the Nationals in 2023.
“Yes, they’ll all be back,” Martinez said prior to the Nats’ doubleheader against the Mets to commence their final series of the season.
When the Nationals exercised the manager’s 2023 option July 2, he revealed all of his coaches received two-year contracts when they were hired, suggesting all would be returning along with him. Today, in discussing how members of his staff will be working directly with players during the offseason, Martinez was asked directly if the full staff will be back and he provided a definitive answer.
“These guys have been awesome,” he said. “They’ve been an extension of my voice. They care. They care about each individual. And they’re putting the time in to get each of these guys better.”
The Nationals did make several coaching changes last winter, reassigning longtime staffers Randy Knorr and Bob Henley to player development roles and shifting bullpen coach Henry Blanco to a newly created in-dugout coaching role in which he could work directly with the team’s catchers. Gary DiSarcina, Eric Young Jr. and Ricky Bones were all hired from outside the organization to take over as third base coach, first base coach and bullpen coach, respectively. The team also hired Darnell Coles as hitting coach after Kevin Long left to take a multi-year offer from the Phillies for the same position.
The newcomers joined returning pitching coach Jim Hickey, bench coach Tim Bogar and assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler, all of whom are being retained.
Martinez, meanwhile, is set to return for his sixth season as manager, having won the World Series in 2019 but now charged with guiding the franchise through a massive rebuild that reached a low point this year when the team set a club record with its 104th loss and traded away superstar Juan Soto two months ago.
Those kind of on-field results often lead to changes within an organization, whether on the coaching staff, within the front office or in the clubhouse itself. Martinez, though, gave a strong endorsement for his staff, which he clearly does not blame for his team’s record this season.
“The (narrative) is it’s always the coaches’ fault, and that’s not necessarily true,” he said. “If you know these guys, they’re here, a lot of them from 11 o’clock 'til midnight, myself included. I get here really early, and we try to put our heads together and see what we can do to win a game and get our guys better. I’m proud of my coaching staff. They endured a lot. I thank them every day for coming out and being positive.”