The Nationals' "Other" In-House Candidate For Manager: Trent Jewett

Patrick McDermott

While Randy Knorr has gotten most of the press so far this offseason, Trent Jewett interviewed for the Washington Nationals' managerial opening in 2006 and joined the organization as a highly-regarded manager who seemed on his way to his first major league gig.

Trent Jewett's career as a manager, after a four-year minor league career as a player in the Pittsburgh Pirates' system, began in 1992 when the then-28-year-old catcher-turned skipper managed the Bucs' affiliate in the NY/Penn League.

Within five years, Jewett had worked his way up to Triple-A in the Pirates' organization where he managed for five years before he was called up to the majors to serve as Pittsburgh's third base coach from 2000-2002. A 39-year-old Jewett returned to the bench with the Pirates' top affiliate in 2002, managing in Nashville in the PCL and Indianapolis in the International League. After the 2006 season in the IL, Jewett interviewed with the Washington Nationals, who were in the process of finding Frank Robinson's replacement.

"'He has a good feel for the players, is a good evaluator and has a good feel for the pitching staff, which is obviously a key component in a manager.'" - Former Pirates' GM Dave Littlefield on Trent Jewett/WaPost 2006

Then-Pirates' General Manager Dave Littlefield told the Washington Post's Barry Svrluga at the time that Jewett was a confident manager with a history of success.

"'He has a good feel for the players,'" Littlefield said, "'is a good evaluator and has a good feel for the pitching staff, which is obviously a key component in a manager.'" Jewett didn't get the job in D.C., which went to Manny Acta.

In August of 2007, Jewett was recognized by Baseball America as being the "Best Manager Prospect" in the International League.

After another season at Triple-A in the Pirates' system in 2008, Jewett joined the Nationals as the High-A Potomac Nationals' manager for the 2009 season. Jewett led the P-Nats to a 79-58 record and second place finishes in each half of the 2009 campaign, then got promoted to Triple-A Syracuse in 2010, taking over as the manager of the Nationals' top affiliate in his second season in the organization.

"'You keep defenders on the move and you get passed balls. Aggression on the bases changes a lot of things.'" - Trent Jewett to Syracuse.com on aggression on basepaths

In an interview with Syracuse.com writer Bud Poliquin before the Chiefs' 2010 campaign, Jewett spoke briefly about his philosophy on running and creating opportunities offensively by taking an aggressive approach when his teams got runners on the basepaths:

"'When you’re on the offensive side of the ball, you want to score as many runs as possible. If you can pick up a few bases here and there, so be it.

"'You keep defenders on the move and you get passed balls. Aggression on the bases changes a lot of things. On any given day, a hitter can be off. Or a pitcher may not have his good breaking ball. But the stolen base is there every time the opportunity presents itself.'"

Jewett's Chiefs finished second in the International League in 2010 (and led the IL in stolen bases). In 2011, the veteran manager/coach was serving as a "quality control coach" in the organization when he was brought on as the Nationals' first base coach following Jim Riggleman's resignation when the Nationals fired Dan Radison, who had close ties to the outgoing skipper. Jewett remained the first base coach in 2012. In 2013, Jewett moved across the diamond and served as Davey Johnson's third base coach.

With Davey Johnson departing, both Jewett and Nationals' bench coach Randy Knorr have been mentioned as potential in-house candidates to become the latest Washington, D.C.-based team's sixth manager.

While Knorr has gotten most of the press recently as the Nats begin the process of finding their next skipper, at least one reporter, ESPN's Buster Olney, reported on Saturday night that a source said Jewett remains a possibility:

Knorr worked his way up through the Nationals' organization. Jewett's managed at two levels in the Nats' system after working his way up with Pittsburgh. Will choosing one cost the Nationals the other? Or will both be back with the team in 2014? The Nationals' "other" in-house candidate apparently has some support...

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