Washington Nationals, MLB, baseball, DC, Trent Jewett, Seattle Mariners
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Trent Jewett leaves to join Mariners as bench coach

Nov 11, 2013, 4:22 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

The Nats officially have a job opening.

Third base coach Trent Jewett has been hired by the Seattle Mariners to join newly hired Lloyd McClendon’s staff as bench coach. Jewett worked with McClendon in Pittsburgh in 2001 and 2002.

Jewett’s departure means the Nats will need a new assistant to join Matt Williams for 2014. This is just one year after Bo Porter left as third base coach to become the manager of the Houston Astros. Jewett moved from first base to third to fill that opening, as Tony Tarasco took over as first base coach.

Jewett leaves the Nationals after five years in the organization. He originally joined the club in 2009 as the manager of the Single-A Potomac Nationals. He was interviewed for the team’s managerial opening last month and was considered a serious candidate.

The Nationals will now begin their search to replace Jewett, but here is one name to keep an eye on: Tony Beasley. The Syracuse Chiefs manager has been rising up the Nats’ minor league system and was actually the big league club’s third base coach in 2006. He also filled the same role in Pittsburgh from 2008-10.

Nationals owner Mark Lerner wrote in a letter to fans on Monday that the team had an original list of over 50 names for their managerial search. Perhaps they look back at those candidates for this job.

One guy we know they interviewed was Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale. Hale has also been a third base coach before. He filled that role with the Boston Red Sox from 2006 to 2009, and with the Baltimore Orioles in 2012.

The Nationals’ original plan with the coaching staff was to keep much of it intact, hoping for continuity for 2014. But with Jewett now gone, the Nats will have replaced at least two assistants and added another.

Steve McCatty, Tony Tarasco, Rick Schu and Randy Knorr are back. Out goes Jim Lett and Jewett, and in comes Matt Williams, Matt LeCroy (bullpen) and Mark Weidemaier (defense). A new third base coach would mean four new members of the Nats’ coaching staff.

  1. scnatsfan - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Wish him luck. No idea if he was good or bad, assume he was good because we hired him and he made it 5 years.

    Maybe we hire Riggleman.

    • David Proctor - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      “Maybe we hire Riggleman.”

      Ha.

      • scbilly - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        He’d quit as someone was rounding second.

  2. NatsLady - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Gio taking a second job announcing golf. This is FUNNY.

    Gio Gonzalez ‏@GioGonzalez47 31m
    Life after baseball #lmfao #secondjob @thisisdspan #jordans

    http://instagram.com/p/gltpJ5NJp-/

  3. Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    It’s a good opportunity for Matt Williams to hire a key coach. If it is Beasley that opens up the AAA managers position.

    Pick wisely Matt!

    • David Proctor - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      James Wagner is reporting that it’s unlikely to be Beasley.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        Selfishly that’s good to hear as he is more valuable at AAA. A shame DeRosa isn’t available. That guy would be a great addition to the coaching staff.

  4. David Proctor - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    I’m not sure there are any obvious in-house candidates. I suppose they could move Tarasco to third, but that still leaves an opening obviously. I suspect it’s Matt’s guy.

  5. therealjohnc - Nov 11, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    With a regime change some turnover was inevitable, and I can understand why Jewett might prefer to go to Seattle and work with a manager (McClendon) that he knows and has worked with before. Good luck to him there (that franchise is a mess). I’m just happy the Nationals were able to hang onto Knorr and McCatty.

    I’d guess that Tarasco, who has been a baserunning as well as OF coach in the organization, which gives him a naturaly basis for making baserunning calls from the 3b coach’s box.

  6. Another_Sam - Nov 11, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    I wish TJ all the best; I hope it’s a good move for him. And I guess Matt is entitled to some of his own guys.

    It’s unfair of me to say this, I’m sure: IMHO, TJ never got the rhythm of coaching third base. Of course, that’s easy for me to say from my seat on the sofa or way up in the stands.

  7. David Proctor - Nov 11, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    I may have missed it, but did anyone here bring up that apparently the Nats are discussing a trade for Jeff Samardzija? I wouldn’t mind having him, but I have a feeling the Cubs will be asking for a lot. Samardzia has excellent stuff, but for some reason his ERA hasn’t matched that (his FIP and all that is better, if you care about those things). I wouldn’t give up a Giolito, Goodwin or Cole for him and the Cubs would likely want a prospect of that caliber.

  8. David Proctor - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Interesting. This is a tweet from a legit Cubs beat reporter:

    John Arguello
    ‏@CubsDen
    Sounds like Nats interest in Samardzija is legit. One source believes they will make an offer that Cubs will not be able to turn down

    • nats128 - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      That’s scary since Theo already took Rizzo on that Scott Hairston trade.

      • David Proctor - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        No he didn’t. Rizzo gave up a non-prospect for a guy who contributed and is likely to contribute next year.

      • nats128 - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:35 PM

        I respectively disagree. Being taken doesnt have to do as much with the quality of the player (Ivan Pineyro) Rizzo gave up it has to do with paying $2.5 million that Rizzo is obligated on financially which is a gross overpay for a weak player.

        In my opinion you have to really spin it to say he was good in 2013. Yes, he was a little better with the Nats then the Cubs however you cant count on him as a starter where he hit .211/.244/.263/.507 with the Nats and is a sitting duck when he pinch hits and the opposing manager inserts a RHP where he pinch-hit .000 against RHPs.

        His defense is poor and there were much better RH outfielders that were available at the time.

  9. Theophilus T.S. - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    I don’t get the notion that there is such a thing as a good 3B coach/bad 3B coach. Basic approach to base-running — aggressive/not aggressive — comes from the top down. With the same direction from the top down and assuming the same hypothetical runner, 29 of the the 30 major league 3B coaches would make the same call. Every OF in the league has been scouted, everyone knows their own runners, they know what the score is and how many outs there are, they can see whether the OF is going to be in position to make a throw — punch the data into the computer and it should come out the same way every time. The job of the 3B coach isn’t so much to make the decision as it is to communicate to the runner what the circumstances dictate. Granted, you don’t put a total maroon in the 3B coach’s box. But the success/failure of basing running is determined by scouting and in Spring Training — learning the capabilities of your players and teaching them to (A) watch the ball; (B) when you can’t see the ball, watch the coach; (C) run like a mama rabbit in heat (hat tip to Billy Hunter); (D) slide smart.

  10. David Proctor - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    Is 2.5 million a lot for a bench player? And who are these other guys who are out there for less than that, who also wouldn’t cost a meaningful prospect? No, he shouldn’t start. But if someone goes down in the outfield, you can use Hairston in a platoon role to replace him. We had a laughably bad 13 pinch hit RBI in 2013. Hairston provided 6 of that himself.

    Hairston provides a lot of pop off the bench, something that we didn’t have and now we do. Yes, he’s limited. If he weren’t limited, he’d be starting somewhere.

    It’s also worth pointing out that Hairston was the victim of a .185 BABIP and it’s not because he was making weak contact–his line drive percentage was in line with his career numbers. He was just plain unlucky.

    • nats128 - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      Thats the problem. If Hairston was a 4th outfielder you are in trouble. His defense is poor and his stat line is poor as a starter .211/.244/.263/.507. Yes, he did fine when he got the lefty reliever. When he didnt he was just awful batting .000 against the RH reliever.

      Hard to make sense of a right-handed pinch hitter specialist. Plenty of talent on the Free Agent heap for $2.5 million or less.

  11. Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Jeff Samardzija is a career 4.32 ERA as a starter. He had 12 starts in
    2013 where he gave up 4 or more earned runs. That just doesn’t cut it.
    While Samardzija can look like an Ace for 5 games a year, he is an inconsistent
    mess. Where have we seen that before?

    Also, he’s just bad against the NL East (except the Nats). 10.80 career
    ERA against the Phillies, 7.00 against the Mets, 5.46 against the Marlins,
    and 3.46 against the Braves.

    Am I missing something? This makes me real nervous.

    • David Proctor - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      What is the sample size of those NL East numbers? They must be awfully low. I wouldn’t put too much faith into that. But yes, I agree overall. When we gave up the farm for Gio, Gio had been an All-Star and posted back-to-back years with ERA’s at 3.21 or lower. And most people still thought we overpaid.

      For Samardzija, if the Cubs think they’re getting a Giolito or something similar, they better just keep on looking. He’s not an elite pitcher and he doesn’t deserve an elite prospect.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      David, yes 3 to 4 starts against each but none of them is good. He only has dominated the Nats in the NL East.
      I would pursue Nolasco. He’s a FA and just costs cash and has outperformed Samardjia.

      • David Proctor - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:13 PM

        Nolasco is mediocre and doesn’t have the upside of Samardzija. Samardzija at least has the much lower FIP (if you care about that), the high K numbers, etc. There’s reason to expect he would improve. Not so with Nolasco. What you see is what you get.

        I suspect we make a trade for a starter and it’s not Scherzer, Price or Samardzija. It’ll be someone unexpected, like Gio was, who is young and cost controllable and has put up better numbers than Samardijza.

      • nats128 - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:26 PM

        Upside means nothing in what have you done for me lately. Nolasco had a good 2013. Both Samarjia and Nolasco look like #5s. I wouldnt give up much for a 4.23 ERA starter.

  12. David Proctor - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Sounds like the Nationals are interested in Boone Logan, a left handed specialist. He’s a guy I said they should target. From Kilgore:

    “The Nationals have expressed interest in Yankees free agent Boone Logan, according to a person familiar with the situation.

    Logan, 29, became a crucial part of the Yankees bullpen as a classic left-handed specialist. He has made 256 appearances in the previous four seasons while accumulating just 176 innings. Over that span, he struck out 202 batters. Last season, left-handers hit .221 against him and he struck out 50 batters in 39 innings.

    Logan appeared in a league-high 80 games in 2012 and has been durable for most of his career. He underwent elbow surgery to remove a bone chip from his left elbow in early October after he pitched through pain much of this season. The injury prevented Logan from throwing his slider with typical efficacy, and he appeared in only one game after Sept 6.”

    • nats128 - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      I also like that Logan will have the element of surprise against the NL East who really dont know him.

      • David Proctor - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:31 PM

        Well he was a Brave in 2009, but he pitched only 17 innings for them that year.

      • nats128 - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        Exactly but with the turnover in the NL East, thats a long time ago.

  13. Section 222 - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Wait, Nook Logan? Oh. Never mind.

    • David Proctor - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:33 PM

      “WHAT WAS NOOK LOGAN THINKING? WHAT WAS HE WATCHING? WHERE WAS HE GOING?”

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