Usually, I do the Senators Roll Call on Wednesdays but there has just been too much news over the last couple of days to ignore…
• Josh Johnson (’10-’13) re-signed with the Nats. I fully expect his role to be the same as last year, providing infield depth in the upper levels of the minors.
• Right-handed starter Caleb Clay (’13) inked a deal with the SF Giants’ organization for 2014. Between Harrisburg and Syracuse, Clay went a combined 11-5 with a 2.96 ERA and 1.029 WHIP in 27 appearances last season.
• Bobby Henley (’96-’97) joins good friend Matt LeCroy on Matt Williams’ staff in Washington as the new third base coach. Henley has served in various capacities with the Expos and Nationals in the minor leagues since he managed rookie ball in 2003.
• Despite an injury-filled 2013, the Nationals re-signed starter Chris Young (’03) as part of their plan to fill AAA with capable major-league arms.
• The Nationals added Aaron Barrett (’13), pitcher Sammy Solis, and outfielder Michael Taylor to the 40-man roster. The moves prohibit clubs from selecting any of them in next month’s Rule 5 draft.
• Despite selling the club to the Jerry Reinsdorf-led ownership group six years ago for a then record $12.5 million, the City of Harrisburg continues to pay the price for once owning the Senators. Annual payments made to the city from permit and parking fees aren’t enough to cover the debt payments and interest owed on outstanding stadium bonds. (Bloomburg News)
• Collin Balester (’06-’07) signed a minor-league deal with the Pirates’ organization despite undergoing Tommy John surgery this past June.
• With Henley and Rick Schu officially on Williams’ staff in DC, their old positions are being filled by two familiar faces. Tony Beasley (Mgr ’11) has been named the roving minor league coordinator, while Troy Gingrich (’01-’03, HC ’08-11) is now the minor league hitting instructor. Those promotions along with pitching coach Greg Booker not being retained leave Triple-A Syracuse with a whole new staff in 2014. Surely, the ripple-down effect will be felt in Harrisburg.
• Roy Clark’s departure from the Nationals’ front office also left a vacancy that was filled today when Carlisle resident Doug Harris was promoted to assistant GM and vice president of player development. Harris spoke with Lacy Lusk and said, “(His) main focus will still be with the minor leagues but he will likely spend more time with the major league club than in the past.” Stepping into Harris’ former role as director of player development will be Mark Scialabba who has been the minor league director of operations since 2009.