It’s not uncommon for a veteran manager to make changes to his coaching staff. It is somewhat uncommon, though, for a veteran manager to make changes to his coaching staff after he was just given his own contract extension near the end of a season most consider to have been more successful than the previous one.
When word got out last month the Nationals weren’t bringing back four of the eight coaches from Davey Martinez’s staff for next season, it raised at least a few eyebrows. But it also felt appropriate to withhold judgment until those positions were filled, at which point everyone could better understand what was intended all along.
Well, now we know what the full 2024 staff will look like. Out is longtime bench coach Tim Bogar, replaced by former White Sox bench coach (and interim manager) Miguel Cairo. Out is third base coach Gary DiSarcina, replaced from within by run prevention coordinator Ricky Gutierrez. Out is first base coach Eric Young Jr., replaced from within by fan favorite and briefly special assistant to the general manager Gerardo Parra. And out is longtime assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler, replaced by former White Sox assistant hitting coach and big league third baseman Chris Johnson.
Two in-house replacements. Two outside additions. Two with prior big league coaching experience. Two with no prior big league coaching experience. Two former infielders replaced by two former infielders. One former outfielder replaced by a former outfielder.
And what conclusions, if any, can we draw from all this? Martinez hasn’t publicly spoken about the changes yet. Mike Rizzo declined to comment Wednesday about the coaching moves because they hadn’t been officially announced yet, but in referencing the overhaul of his scouting and player development departments he told reporters at the GM meetings in Arizona: “I think change is good. I think that we needed a refresh to a lot of parts of our baseball operations department, and we did. We’ve never been afraid to make moves … We brought in a lot of good people, and I think there’s going to be a different look, and I think it’s going to be really effective.”