The Nationals stayed in-house in selecting their new bench coach, tonight naming Randy Knorr to the position as manager Davey Johnson's right-hand man.
Knorr, 43, has held a variety of coaching roles in the Nationals organization over the last seven seasons, including managerial stints at low-Class A Savannah, high-Class A Potomac, Class AA Harrisburg and, most recently, Class AAA Syracuse. He also served as the Nationals' bullpen coach for the second half of the 2006 season and for all of the 2009 season.
The former big-league catcher, who spent 19 seasons with five organizations, knows the Nationals' system well and has coached 75 percent of the players on the team's current 40-man roster.
In seeking a new bench coach to replace Pat Corrales, who at age 70 will remain with the Nationals in an advisory role, general manager Mike Rizzo said he preferred to hire someone who could some day succeed Johnson as manager. Knorr has long been considered a potential big-league manager, one reason why Rizzo wanted him to manage at each level of the farm system in recent years rather than remain on the big-league staff as bullpen coach.
The rest of Johnson's major-league staff will return intact in 2012: pitching coach Steve McCatty, hitting coach Rick Eckstein, third base coach Bo Porter, first base coach Trent Jewett and bullpen coach Jim Lett.
Knorr, Porter, Jewett and perhaps Eckstein could ultimately be considered for the managerial position once Johnson, 68, retires.