WASHINGTON – After leaving the Texas Rangers’ organization, Brad Holman joined the Nationals as the Triple-A pitching coach at Syracuse in 2018 and then with Triple-A Fresno in 2019.
And each time his manager was Randy Knorr, the former Washington bench coach who returned to the majors on Wednesday when he was named the first-base coach for the Nationals for the 2021 season.
The two also worked together this summer in Fredericksburg as California native Knorr ran the alternate site for the 60-player pool.
“First of all, I am very happy for Randy. He is such a good human being,” Holman told Federal Baseball on Thursday from his home in Kansas. “He is very easy-going but also extremely knowledgeable about the game.”
“He really takes a lot of time to communicate with staff and players. I think his personality is second to none. He bridges that gap with the Major Leagues and minor leagues. He just has a lot to offer them. From the standpoint of his career, this is just outstanding.”
Knorr is a former catcher and minor league instructor for Montreal who has worked with the Nationals since the team came to Washington in time for the 2005 season.
Now Knorr will be staff for manager Dave Martinez.
“I have never been around a more positive person. I am just excited to work with him. I try to be as positive as I can; it is great to be back with him and hang out,” Knorr told Federal Baseball of Martinez.
“He belongs in the Major Leagues,” Holman said of Knorr. “I am excited to see how this next season unfolds.”
Holman, who pitched for Seattle in 1993, doesn’t have as many ties to Jim Hickey – who will replace Paul Menhart as the new pitching coach for the Nationals.
“I am sure in the near future we will connect,” Holman said Thursday. “I look forward to getting to work with him. I only know him through the industry. I know he coached a lot of the kids that I have coached and vice versa. I have heard good things about Jim and I am sure he comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience. I can’t wait to get rolling.”
Holman coached in the minors for several years in the Rangers’ system and was the bullpen coach for Texas in 2016 and 2017.
Some of the pitchers he worked within the minors or majors with Texas eventually played for the Cubs, where Hickey was the pitching coach in 2018.
That includes Pedro Strop, who came up through the Texas system and made his Major League debut with the Rangers in 2009.
He later played for the Orioles and was with the Cubs when Hickey was the pitching coach there.
Holman also worked with Texas in the minors with Kyle Hendricks, who was on the staff with Hickey and the Cubs in 2018. Hickey spent the past two seasons in player development with the Dodgers.