Nationals name coaching staff
The Nationals have retained hitting coach Rick Eckstein, pitching coach Steve McCatty and third base coach Pat Listach. The club also named John McLaren the bench coach, Jim Lett as bullpen coach and Dan Radison the first-base coach.
Eckstein returns for a second season in Washington, as his offense showed significant gains in 2009 in runs per game (+0.40 per game), home runs (+39), batting average (+.007), on-base percentage (+.014), slugging percentage (+.033) and OPS (+.047) compared to the previous season.
McCatty was named Nationals pitching coach on June 2. The Nationals’ Triple-A pitching coach for four seasons before being summoned to Washington, McCatty employed numerous pre-existing relationships with Nationals pitchers to help his staff post an ERA exactly one run better than that recorded in the season’s first two months (5.69 ERA from Opening Day-May 31, 4.69 ERA from June 2 through season’s end).
Listach will return for a second season as Nationals third-base coach. Last season, Listach’s judgment saw only 11 Nationals thrown out at home plate on non force-outs, a figure bettered by only the Cardinals (eight) in MLB.
With added responsibilities as the Nationals infield instructor, Listach had a hand in Ryan Zimmerman earning his first career Rawlings Gold Glove.
McLaren, 58, will draw on 22 seasons of big league coaching experience, including a stint as Mariners manager for portions of the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He replaced Mike Hargrove as Seattle’s manager on July 2, 2007. While skippering the Mariners, McLaren hired Riggleman as his bench coach in 2008.
Lett, 58, will draw on 15 seasons of Major League coaching experience, 11 spent as a bench coach with the Reds, Blue Jays, Dodgers and Pirates. He served as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach from 2001-04, where he worked alongside Riggleman, who was Jim Tracy’s bench coach at the time.
Radison, 59, begins his third tour with Riggleman, as the two worked together during Riggleman’s managerial stays with the Padres and Cubs.. Outside of his stints with the Cubs and Padres, Radison has managed, coached or scouted for the Yankees, Cardinals and Mets organizations from 1984-2006.