Full coaching staff announced, with new position added

The Nationals announced their full 2022 coaching staff today, one that includes four new faces and one new position.

The newcomers to manager Davey Martinez’s staff: Darnell Coles (hitting coach), Eric Young Jr. (first base coach), Gary DiSarcina (third base coach) and Ricky Bones (bullpen coach). The first three had previously been reported, with the addition of Bones coming today and coming in conjunction with the shifting of Henry Blanco from bullpen coach to the newly created job of catching and strategy coach.

Returning to their positions from last season are Tim Bogar (bench coach), Jim Hickey (pitching coach) and Pat Roessler (assistant hitting coach).

Hickey-Mound-Visi-Rainy-Red-Sidebar.jpgThis will be the first time Martinez has worked with an eight-man coaching staff, having now created a new position for Blanco, one of his closest confidants. The former big league catcher followed Martinez from the Cubs to the Nationals in 2018 and, after spending his first three seasons entirely in the bullpen, wound up unofficially taking on a more prominent role during the second half of the 2021 season, filling in as bench coach after Bogar had back surgery and as third base coach after Bob Henley was among the staff members who tested positive for COVID-19.

So the addition of the new catching and strategy coach position represents something of a true promotion for Blanco. The 50-year-old will continue to instruct the Nats’ catching corps (which is now made up entirely of prospects in Keibert Ruiz, Riley Adams and Tres Barrera) while also assisting Martinez with in-game strategy from the dugout instead of the bullpen.

Bones, 52, becomes the new bullpen coach, a position he held for the Mets for the last decade. The former big league right-hander, best known for his time pitching for the Brewers in the mid-1990s, has previously worked in the Nationals’ organization. He was pitching coach for Single-A Potomac in 2005, the franchise’s inaugural season in D.C. He has also served as pitching coach for the Puerto Rican national team during the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Most of Martinez’s coaches had playing careers that overlapped his, making most of them close in age with the 57-year-old manager. Bogar, 54, returns for his fifth season on the staff, his third as bench coach. Coles, 59, takes over as hitting coach after holding that position for the Brewers (2015-18) and Diamondbacks (2019-21). DiSarcina, 53, is the new third base coach after holding a variety of big league positions on the staffs of the Angels (2014-16), Red Sox (2017) and Mets (2018-21).

The oldest members of the staff are Hickey, 60, who returns for his second season as pitching coach, and Roessler, 61, who returns for his third season as assistant hitting coach. Despite longtime connections to Kevin Long with both the Yankees and Mets, Roessler is staying with the Nationals instead of following Long to the Phillies.

The only coach who doesn’t fit into the same age range as the others is Young, who at 36 will be on a big league staff for the first time. The former Rockies and Mets outfielder, though, has plenty of pedigree, both from his playing days and from his lineage: His father, Eric Young Sr., is first base coach for the newly crowned World Series champion Braves.

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