With the announcement that Davey Johnson will officially manage the Nationals in 2012 also came the announcement that the Nationals 2011 coaching staff would remain largely intact save for one change at the bench coach position. Pat Corrales is not expected to return as Johnson’s bench coach after serving in the role for the season’s final three months.
Corrales, 70, had been serving the organization in an advisor’s role and his opinions of the minor league talent within the system are considered “invaluable.” He’s expected to return to that type of a role. The Nationals are not yet ready to announce the bench coach for 2012 but the remainder of the coaching staff will return.
“Pat’s invaluable in the system,” Johnson said. “His experience (is invaluable). I love him to death and he did a great job but we’ll probably have a different coach there.”
The Nationals will have a plethora of internal candidates — if that’s the route they choose to go — starting with Triple-A manager Randy Knorr. First base coach Trent Jewett could also serve in that role and the Nationals could opt to find a new first base coach. Barring any shifting on the current coaching staff, though, Knorr would appear to be one of the top minor league coaches who’s a candidate for a promotion.
Knorr is well-regarded within the organization and a hefty percentage of the Nationals projected 25-man roster have come through the minor leagues under his tutelage. He has a strong relationship with many of the Nationals and he’s respected for his ability not to mince words.
He has aspirations to become a major league manager, though, so it would depend on whether he feels his path toward that goal will be best served managing in the minor leagues or serving on a major league coaching staff.