By Tom Schad
Nationals first base coach Dan Radison was let go Friday to make room for incoming bench coach Pat Corrales. Trent Jewett will serve as Radison’s replacement at first base.
Manager Davey Johnson said that the move was a joint decision made by general manager Mike Rizzo and himself. Johnson wanted to bring Corrales on board without adding an additional coach, leaving Radison as the odd man out.
“I’ve been a good friend and supporter of Radison for a long time as I have been with Jim Riggleman,” Johnson explained. “It’s nothing against Rad. I think he’s a very good baseball man and I’ve liked him for a long time.”
Radison was very close with ex-manager Jim Riggleman, and his release appears to be the final step in the transition between coaching staffs.
Johnson continues to speak very highly of Corrales, who will replace outgoing bench coach John McLaren. Both were previously consultants in the Nationals front office before Rizzo asked Johnson to take over as manager. Johnson then proceeded to tap Corrales, reasoning that, “I didn’t want to be the oldest guy on the staff.”
“I’ve known Pat for a long time, I’ve battled against him,” Johnson said. “He’s a real good baseball man, I really like him a lot and I respect his opinions.”
Johnson also said that he and Rizzo were very high on Jewett, who is in his third season with the organization. The 47-year-old recorded 1,144 wins in his 17 seasons as a minor league manager before joining the major league club this year.
Johnson reiterated that it was not his decision alone. He spoke with Rizzo about the situation, and the two decided that it was best to move forward without Radison.
Rizzo could not immediately be reached for comment.