We knew most of the names already, with a variety of outlets reporting on the hires that the Washington Nationals have made for Dave Martinez’s first staff, but the Nats made things official this afternoon, announcing that all spots except a bullpen coach have been filled.
Chip Hale has joined the Nationals as Martinez’s bench coach, Derek Lilliquist is now the Nats’ pitching coach, Kevin Long is the hitting coach, Tim Bogar is the new first base coach, Bobby Henley returns as the third base coach, and Joe Dillon is now the assistant hitting coach in D.C.
All that’s left now is to find/announce a bullpen coach, assuming the Nationals won’t be bringing Dan Firova back.
Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies that the Nationals were going to surround Martinez, a first-time manager after serving as Joe Maddon’s bench coach in Tampa Bay and Chicago for the past ten seasons, with veteran baseball people who could help the new skipper.
“We’re going to surround him with the best and finest coaches that are going to complement him and help him reach our goals,” Rizzo said.
Hale, 52, spent the 2017 campaign as the third base and infield coach for the Oakland A’s, and managed the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015-16 after serving as Bob Melvin’s bench coach from 2012-2014. Before that, the former major leaguer was a third base coach with the New York Mets and D-Backs.
Derek Lilliquist, 51, replaces Mike Maddux as the Nats’ pitching coach after 16 seasons in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization, the last six as the Cards’ pitching coach.
Maddux was hired recently to take over as the Cardinals’ pitching coach.
A former major league pitcher, Lilliquist worked his way up in the Cards’ organization, first as a pitching coach at Single-A in the Cardinals’ system (2004-2007), then as a pitching coordinator at the Cardinals’ spring training complex (2008–2010), and the Cards’ bullpen coach (2011–2012).
Long, 50, joins the Nationals after serving as the hitting coach with New York’s Yankees (2007-2014) and Mets (2015-2017).
Bogar, 51, replaced Davey Lopes as the first base coach in D.C. after spending the last two seasons as the Seattle Mariners’ bench coach, and will return to coaching at first base for the first time since 2009 in Boston.
Bobby Henley, 44, returns for his fifth season as the Nationals’ third base coach, and, as the Nats’ noted in their press release on the staff, his 24th season as a part of Montreal and Washington’s organization after he was drafted by the Expos in 26th Round of the 1991 draft.
Joe Dillon, 42, was a hitting coach at Triple-A Syracuse in the Nationals’ organization in 2014-2015 before spending two seasons (2016-17) as the Miami Marlins’ Minor League hitting coordinator. Dillon spent four years in the majors with the then-Florida Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, and Tampa Bay Rays, putting up a combined .263/.344/.378 line as a player.