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Nationals announce Bobby Henley will return as third base coach

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Bobby Henley will reportedly return to his role as the Washington Nationals' third base coach. The Nationals announced Henley's return as part of Dusty Baker's staff this morning, leaving just one opening to be filled. #Sendleyisback!

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals acknowledged the possibility that some members of their 2015 coaching staff could return in 2016 after Matt Williams was relieved of his duties and the coaches were told their contracts weren't being renewed following the last regular-season game.

Some coaches immediately accepted other roles within the organization and the Nationals announced recently that Rick Schu would return to his role as hitting coach in the nation's capital.

In discussing Schu's return, manager Dusty Baker told MLB Network Radio hosts Jim Bowden and Casey Stern earlier this month that after hiring Mike Maddux as pitching coach, Davey Lopes as first base coach, and Chris Speier in as-yet-undisclosed role, a few openings remained.

Speier, Baker said, would be the third base or bench coach, but they still needed to make that decision and, "... come up with a bullpen guy, a catching guy," which he said was an undervalued role, and, "an assistant batting coach."

The Nationals announced last week that Jacque Jones would be Baker's assistant hitting coach and this morning the Nats announced on Twitter that Bobby Henley will return to his role as the third base coach:

Henley, 42, has a long history with the franchise which stretches back to his playing days in the majors as a catcher with the Montreal Expos, who drafted him in the 26th Round in 1991.

Henley played all 41 of his major league games with the Expos in 1998 and later rejoined the organization, serving as a manager in the Gulf Coast League with the Expos in 2003, with the Low-A Savannah Sand Gnats in 2004 and the High-A Potomac Nationals in 2005, before working from 2006-2009 as catching coordinator and manager in the Gulf Coast League and serving as the Minor League field coordinator from 2010-13 before joining Williams' staff as the third base coach in 2014.

Henley would seem to fill the role of the "catching guy" on Baker's staff and his hiring as the third case coach would seem to mean that Chris Speier will once again return to Baker's side as bench coach after filling that role previously when both were in Cincinnati.

That leaves bullpen coach as the last remaining job opening on Baker's staff. Matt LeCroy, who served as Williams' bullpen coach in 2014-15, was named the Double-A Harrisburg Senators after he was relieved of his duties at the major league level in October, so it would appear unlikely he will return. No word on any candidates for the job has leaked yet...