WASHINGTON - Brad Holman arrived in West Palm Beach for Spring Training on Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day.
How long he will be there is no sure thing.
“There are still a lot of question marks,” Holman, pitching coordinator in player development for the Nationals, told Federal Baseball on Sunday.
“I don’t think anyone knows for sure what that entails. There is a diverse group (of pitchers) here. The next phase is what happens after Major League camp.”
Holman, who pitched in the majors for Seattle in 1993, was the pitching coach for Triple-A Fresno in Washington’s system in 2019.
Last year, he became the pitching coordinator but was not able to travel the country as the minor league season was called off due to the pandemic.
“I have the same mentality as last year: make it happen,” Holman said from Florida. “We all have a job to do.”
He was on hand for alternate camp in Fredericksburg, VA, and then Instructional League in Florida in 2020.
Last year he worked closely with Paul Menhart, the former pitching coach who was let go by the Nationals after the 2020 season.
Now Holman, a Kansas native, is working with new pitching coach Jim Hickey, who had been in player development with the Dodgers in 2019 and 2020.
Hickey and manager Dave Martinez were on the same staff with Tampa Bay.
“Jim is such an approachable guy, he is easy to talk to,” Holman said of Hickey.
“At the same time you can see the professionalism that comes along with how he goes about his business.”
“He is a veteran, he has been doing it a long time. It is neat to be around anybody that has been doing it for a long time. Iron sharpens iron. Hopefully we can learn from each other,” Holman added.
Holman is not sure how much he will get around to minor-league affiliates this year.
“When I took this coordinator job, it came with a lot of different responsibilities,” he said. “It is just trying to figure it out and roll with it and making the best of the situation.”
One pitcher under the radar with the Nationals is Gabe Klobosits, 25, who was drafted in the 36th round out of Auburn in 2017 by Washington. He pitched at Single-A Hagerstown and Potomac in 2019 and was with the team on Sunday in Jupiter in case the Nationals need an extra arm against the Cardinals in the first spring game.
“He is an intimidating figure on the mound – he is like (6-foot-7) and a big body on the mound,” Holman said before Klobosits made his 2021 debut on Sunday.
“He went through an injury and rehab from that. He was a guy that was always on the cusp of going to the alternate site and all that.”
“Unfortunately, the numbers were a little restrictive” last year.
“He has a fastball, slider, and split,” Holman added. “He likes to compete. I am anxious to see him face hitters. These guys are hungry to get going. It has been a great camp; it has been very work-oriented; everyone is hungry.
Klobosits pitched in the ninth in Sunday’s Grapefruit League opener, giving up two hits, before both runners scored on an error as the St. Louis Cardinals rallied to tie the game at 4-4.