The Nationals coaches (and what they do)


Members of the Washington Nationals coaching staff, left to right: pitching coach Steve McCatty, bench coach Randy Knorr, Manager Matt Williams, batting coach Rick Schu, third base coach Bobby Henley, defensive coordinator and advance coach Mark Weidemaier, bullpen coach Matthew LeCroy and first base coach Tony Tarasco pose during spring training on February 23 in Viera, Fla. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
Pitching coach Steve McCatty

McCatty enters his sixth season in the role he has filled under three Washington managers. McCatty manages the pitching staff — usually 12 men — and performs tasks such as monitoring pitchers’ health and workload, supervising bullpen sessions and pregame warmups and providing pitching instruction. McCatty also makes mound visits.

Bench coach Randy Knorr

Knorr is Manager Matt Williams’s right-hand man in the dugout and clubhouse. Knorr, who is familiar with the Nationals’ homegrown players from his six seasons managing in the minor leagues, enters his third season as the team’s bench coach. Knorr will also be Williams’s point person on the new instant replay system and will communicate with the team’s video staff on questioned calls. Knorr, a former major league catcher, also leads the team’s catching instruction.

Manager Matt Williams
Hitting coach Rick Schu

Schu enters his second season, but first full one, as the team’s hitting coach. Schu was promoted to hitting coach in mid-July after spending four years as a roving hitting instructor in the Nationals’ minor leagues. Schu, a former major league infielder, oversees all the hitting drills from the indoor batting cages to pregame batting practice. He plays music to keep players loose while they hit in the cages and provides in-game scouting updates to hitters on pitchers.

Third base coach Bob Henley

Henley, a former Montreal Expos catcher, spent the past 11 years in the organization as a minor league instructor, including the past four seasons as a field coordinator. Henley is responsible for delivering signs to hitters and base runners. He is the base runners’ eyes on base paths. He is one of three former catchers on staff and also assists in catching instruction.

Defensive coordinator/advance coach Mark Weidemaier

The former long-time advance scout and minor league manager enters his first season in a position created for him. Weidemaier, who was last an advance scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks and built a close relationship with Williams, is in charge of defense and shifts. He is also responsible for bringing advance scouting information on opponents directly into the dugout. This is his first major league uniformed coaching job.

A baseball veteran who knows no other life than the grind of the sport, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has been with the Nationals since they came to Washington. He takes a pause during spring training to talk about the mental and physical challenges of the game. (Whitney Leaming/The Washington Post)
Bullpen coach Matthew LeCroy

LeCroy, a former Nationals catcher and minor league manager, begins his first season as bullpen coach. LeCroy works closely with McCatty in managing relievers. LeCroy sits in the bullpen during games, communicates with the dugout via telephone, tells relievers when they will pitch and monitors their throwing. He managed at Class AA Harrisburg the past two years.

First base coach Tony Tarasco

Tarasco, entering his second season, spent seven years as an instructor in the Nationals’ minor leagues. He delivers signs to hitters and provides base running and outfield instruction. He is also in charge of setting the positioning of the outfield, particularly during defensive shifts.

James Wagner

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.
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