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Henley promoted to third base coach

Nov 19, 2013, 6:18 PM EST

MLB: FEB 25 Spring Training - Nationals Photo Day

Updated at 8:45 p.m.

In an ongoing effort to surround Matt Williams with as much institutional knowledge as possible, the Nationals have given their new manager another coach with longstanding ties to the organization.

Bobby Henley, who has served as either a player, minor-league coordinator or manager in the Nationals franchise for all but one season since 1991, has been named the club’s new third base coach.

Henley, 40, takes over for Trent Jewett, who left the Nationals to become Mariners bench coach for recently hired manager Lloyd McClendon.

It’s Henley’s first stint on a major-league coaching staff but he has long been a familiar face to members of the entire Nationals organization. The former Expos catcher has been part of the franchise’s player development system since retiring in 2003, including the last four as minor-league field coordinator.

Among Henley’s duties in that position: Coordinating spring training. The upbeat, high-energy coach has been a fixture in Viera, Fla., organizing spring workouts and signaling for players to switch from station to station with his ever-present air horn.

Henley also managed at several levels of the Nationals’ farm system, including the Rookie Gulf Coast League (2003, 2006-09), Class A Potomac (2005) and low-Class A Savannah (2004).

Drafted out of his Alabama high school by the Expos in 1991, Henley’s playing career was derailed by injuries. He appeared in 41 games for Montreal in 1998, hitting .304 with three homers, but never made it back. He retired following an abbreviated 2002 season in the Pirates’ organization, then immediately was hired by the Expos to manage in the GCL.

He has remained an instructor for the franchise ever since, relocating along with the Expos to Washington in 2005.

Henley will be one of three new coaches on Williams’ reconfigured staff. Bench coach Randy Knorr, pitching coach Steve McCatty, hitting coach Rick Schu and first base coach Tony Tarasco all were retained from Davey Johnson’s staff. Henley and new bullpen coach Matt LeCroy were each promoted from within the Nationals organization. The only outside addition is Mark Weidemaier, who previously worked with Williams in Arizona and was given a brand-new position on Washington’s staff as something of a defensive coordinator.

  1. natsjackinfl - Nov 19, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Definitely going to miss Bobby hollering at the top of his lungs to all the Fall Instructees and extended Spring Training players.
    I should be able to hear him from my right field upper deck seats on my visits to Nats Park next season.

    • Joe Seamhead - Nov 19, 2013 at 7:04 PM

      So, Jack, will he be a good 3B coach?

      • natsjackinfl - Nov 19, 2013 at 7:49 PM

        I have always liked the guy but have no idea how he is as a third base coach. He’s been in the game long enough to know what he’s doing so time will tell.

  2. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 19, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    “Replacing the void”? Srsly, Chase?

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 20, 2013 at 8:10 AM

      Thank you. That’s much better.

  3. sjm308 - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    4 articles in one day

    Comments from Natsjack – Seamhead & Sofa

    Life is good

  4. scnatsfan - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Can’t say I have heard of him, but to me it seems like the organization, not Williams, made the choice

    • trochlis318 - Nov 19, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      yah kinda wish it was williams decison not the organiztion oh well

  5. Candide - Nov 19, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Don’t know him, but how can you not like a coach with an air horn?

    • Eugene in Oregon - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      Can he use the air horn from the 3B coach’s box?

  6. sunshinebobby - Nov 19, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Be like Bo.

  7. David Proctor - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Josh Johnson to the Padres. Glad they snatched him up, I was scared Rizzo would be intrigued by him. Tons of upside, but the injury concerns are off the charts for him.

    David Murphy is also headed to the Indians. I thought he’d have made an interesting LH bench bat, but he wanted playing time and the Indians promised him 400-500ABs.

    • sjm308 - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:06 AM

      I was hoping Rizzo would take a gamble on Johnson. Lots of upside IF his injuries are conquered.

    • nats128 - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:56 AM

      Im with you David. As great as Johnson would be for the 2011 Nats, the 2013 and 2014 Nats need a sure thing. No more of these take a chance guys unless they accept a Minor League deal like Chris Young.

      If you are going to take a chance, the Nats have plenty of those guys and there names are Roark, Jordan, Ohlendorf and of course Detwiler.

      • sjm308 - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:02 AM

        Agree he was a big risk but the difference between Johnson and the players you listed is that he had two dominant years before injury. His era just 4 years ago was 2.38 in the American League and he was an All-Star and top 3 in Cy Young. Again, its a done deal but I also liked that he was just looking for one year to prove he was back so the risk really was low. Of course we took that same risk with Haren and that obviously did not work so I am fine with Rizzo not even being in the mix for him. Looks like the 4 teams bidding were all out West.

  8. unterp - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Not in the tank for Ohlendorf. Not saying anyone is wrong about him as a SP but his ceiling isn’t five innings, it’s four and that’s it…IMHO

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      2nd time through the order is tough for him which makes him a good long man and spot starter where you know his limitations. At his salary, he’s a good keeper.

      • sjm308 - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:24 AM

        agree with that – certainly better than Dukes which was who we had last year. I am still thinking that after spring training they start Detwiler in the pen as well. Natslady did a nice job of showing just how dominant he is the first time through a lineup and how drastic the fall off is after that. To me he is a perfect lefty out of the pen for either several innings or just a few batters. Not sure how he feels about that though.

        With Young and Ohlendorf I wonder who the 3rd member of our Nationals “Its Academic” team would be? I don’t think Zimmerman got his degree from UVA, Not saying that is the criteria for being included but what other players do we have with a four year degree? I also completely understand that you take the money when offered in pretty much all sports, especially when its millions of dollars.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:31 AM

        On your It’s Academic team is Drew Storen (Stanford) and put on Werth as your alternate. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t taking morning classes at Wharton when he was in Philly. Supposedly he was a top student back in High School in Illinois and many top colleges wanted him.

  9. Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    sjm interesting thoughts on Detwiler. You sound like me in the 2012 off-season. The July 2012 Detwiler was a new reincarnated version who used his combination of velo and location to dominate.

    The 2013 Detwiler relied on velo and wasn’t locating and had some inconsistent starts. How much of that was his back and hip?

    That’s the question. He is now Rizzo’s own internal reclamation project. I think Detwiler has to compete in ST with the rest and if he isn’t starter quality then yes he needs to be moved to the pen.

  10. natsjackinfl - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Should be a 40 man roster spot or two move today. Certainly Sammy Solis at the least should be added.

  11. Doc - Nov 20, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Ghost, let’s not forget about Erik Davis of Stanford, and Chris Young of Princeton.

    Now if these guys, along with Ollie of Princeton and Storen of Stanford could just learn how to throw a ball! LOL

    It makes you think about how strong the pull of baseball is when these guys hang in there playing in the dirt with their first class education. I once had a professor, Dr. John Glover, who at one time played in the Cardinals organization. He told me he’d give up his full professorship to hit .250 in the Bigs!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 20, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      sjm already mentioned Ohlie and Chris Young as his 2 on his It’s Academic and was looking for the 3rd. Davis can be an alternate!

  12. jd - Nov 20, 2013 at 10:34 AM


    The more I think of it the more I like the idea of Detwiler in the pen. I know you pushed for that a couple of years ago but I think that at this point he is who he is and he simply doesn’t have good enough secondary pitches to be a good starter. Of course that leaves 2 open spots in the starting rotation and even if you decide that Jordan is a likely candidate I don’t think Rizzo will want to start the season with both Jordan and Roark in the rotation.

  13. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Let’s say we move RD to pen (I doubt Rizzo will do that, he is way too loyal to his guys).

    Who will be your two picks for #4 and #5 jobs in rotation?

    Besides in-house candidates, here is list of free agents and their age (from MLBtr):
    Alfredo Aceves (31),Bronson Arroyo (37),Scott Baker (32),Erik Bedard (35),Travis Blackley (31),A.J. Burnett (37),Chris Capuano (35),Chris Carpenter (39),Bruce Chen (37),Bartolo Colon (41),Scott Feldman (30),Gavin Floyd (31),Jeff Francis (33),Freddy Garcia (37),Jon Garland (34),Matt Garza (30),Chad Gaudin (31),Roy Halladay (37),Jason Hammel (31),Aaron Harang (36),Dan Haren (33),Roberto Hernandez (33),Phil Hughes (28),Ubaldo Jimenez (30),Jair Jurrjens (28),Jeff Karstens (31),Scott Kazmir (30),Hiroki Kuroda (39),John Lannan (29),Colby Lewis (34),Ted Lilly (38),Paul Maholm (32),Shaun Marcum (32),Jason Marquis (35),Daisuke Matsuzaka (33),James McDonald (29),Jeff Niemann (31),Ricky Nolasco (31),Sean O’Sullivan (26),Roy Oswalt (35),Mike Pelfrey (30),Greg Reynolds (28),Clayton Richard (30),Ervin Santana (31),Johan Santana (34),Joe Saunders (33),
    Kevin Slowey (30),Masahiro Tanaka (25),Jason Vargas (31) ,Ryan Vogelsong (36),Edinson Volquez (30),Tsuyoshi Wada (33),P.J. Walters (29),Jake Westbrook (36),Chien-Ming Wang (34),Suk-Min Yoon (27),Barry Zito (36).





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