Get To Know Your Nationals: Bullpen Coach Randy Knorr.

This season will be Randy Knorr's second go-round as the Washington Nationals' Bullpen Coach, with the first coming when he replaced John Wetteland in June of '06, after Mr. Wetteland and the DC skipper at the time, Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, had what were described by MLB.com's Bill Ladson as "philosophical differences" in an article entitled, "Wetteland let go as bullpen coach". As Wetteland rode into the sunset on his motorcyle (uh,...literally), Randy Knorr was named as his replacement in the DC Bullpen... 

...A 10th Round pick in the 1986 MLB Amateur Draft by Toronto, Randy Knorr was in his 6th season in the Blue Jays' system when he debuted on September 5, 1991, and over 11 more Major League seasons with five teams, (Toronto, Houston, Florida, Texas and Montreal), Knorr managed to play 253 games, hitting in 153 of 676 at bats for a .226 Career AVG after an unsuccessful pinch hit opportunity in his last appearance in the Majors with the Expos on September 9, 2001...

...Knorr had been managing in Washington's system for several seasons when Frank Robinson introduced him as the new bullpen coach in June of '06, and Mr. Robinson had high praise for the former backup backstop, telling MLB.com's Bill Ladson, as quoted in an article entitled, "Notes: Knorr named bullpen coach", that Knorr:

"'... is an ex-catcher and was always praised about his handling of pitchers,' Robinson said. 'I know when I came into this organization, we kept him around for three or four years for insurance at the big-league level, had him at Triple-A to handle the young pitchers down there. I think he fits the bill here for the position that's open.'"

After Frank Robinson was dismissed as the Nationals' Manager, Knorr was sent back to his old job as the Class-A Potomac Nationals' Skipper, so that, as DC GM Jim Bowden explained to former Washington Post Nationals'-beat writer Barry Svrluga in an 11/1/06 article entitled, "Nationals reassign two coaches to Minors", Robinson's successor could select his own staff, though Mr. Svrluga wrote that Mr. Bowden believed Knorr should be given consideration for the position. 

Manny Acta selected his own staff, (which did not include Knorr), upon being hired as Washington's Manager in November of '06, but after this past season's 59-102 finish, Acta's coaches were dismissed (with the exception of "Teflon Randy" St. Claire), and Acta and Bowden set about selecting a new group of coaches together. Washington Post writer Chico Harlan noted, in an article entitled, "Nats add Grissom, Listach as Coaches", that Knorr was once again called upon, (along with First Base Coach Marquis Grissom, Third Base Coach Pat Listach, Bench Coach Jim Riggleman and Hitting Coach Rick Eckstein), as a way to, "...reward the work (he'd) done at the organization's lower levels," and Mr. Knorr was quoted in Mr. Harlan's article noting that his work throughout the organization had allowed him to work with, "...most of the guys in the bullpen."

Knorr managed the Class-A Potomac Nationals to the Carolina League title in 2008, and those experiences, combined with what he learned as the Nationals' Bullpen Coach back in 2006, have Knorr feeling confident heading toward the '09 season according to an article by insidenova.com writer Robert Daski entitled, "Knorr moves on to the major leagues", where an enthusiastic and optimistic- sounding Knorr tells Mr. Daski that he:

"...hopes Washington's players come to spring training eager to put the past behind them and that the coaches are on the same page in their plan to reverse the team's fortune."

With all the young starters Washington figures to have in their starting rotation next season, Knorr's bullpen, (which as of today consists of Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera, Jesus "Everyday" Colome, "Wild" Joel Hanrahan, Marco Estrada, Mike Hinckley, Garrett Mock and Steven Shell), is going to have its work cut out for it...Let's hope Knorr and the Relief Corps are up to the task...

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