The Washington Times - November 3, 2011, 11:57AM

While the Nationals set about filling the final question mark on the coaching staff for 2012 — the bench coach — they’ll run down their own list of candidates. As of Thursday morning, though, multiple sources indicated that neither third base coach Bo Porter nor Triple-A manager Randy Knorr were the main candidates for that job.

Porter, who was part of the Nationals’ interview process for manager before they decided to stick with Davey Johnson for 2012, has told the Nationals that unless he’s offered a managerial job elsewhere, he will return to the Nationals’ coaching staff. That, it appears, would be as third base coach and not bench coach.

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Porter is considered one of the best third base coaches in the game and the Nationals like both his preparation and decision making in that role. There’s a feeling that by moving Porter to the bench coach role they’d be weakening their staff because of the value he brings at third base.

Knorr, who has already agreed to return as the organization’s Triple-A manager for 2012, has not yet been contacted directly about the job a source said.

Knorr is extremely well-regarded within the Nationals organization and was one of just three coaches the team brought up to the big leagues in September. He’s had a hand in the development of almost all of the Nationals young players who’ve already made the major leagues and his managerial style is well-respected among those who’ve played for him. 

When the Nationals announced they’d have a bench coach opening earlier this week, both Porter and Knorr’s names were two of the first to come up as potential candidates but it appears Porter is set where he is in his role with the Nationals and Knorr hasn’t been made a priority for the position if the Nationals intend on moving quickly with the hire. 

 – In one other note, Triple-A pitching coach Greg Booker is also expected to return to the Syracuse staff but hitting coach Jerry Browne will not be returning.