2016 field staff announced for Senators

Photo courtesy Joe Hermitt / PennLive

Photo courtesy Joe Hermitt / PennLive

The Washington Nationals officially announced the field staffs for their minor league system on Thursday afternoon. As previously reported, Matt LeCroy will return to Harrisburg to manage the Senators for the 2016 season.

LeCroy, 39, previously skippered the Senators to a 141-143 record over two seasons including an Eastern League championship appearance in 2013. LeCroy becomes only the second manager in the modern era to return to Harrisburg for non-consecutive tenures joining John Stearns who performed the feat in 2006 and 2008-09.

Pitching coach Chris Michalak will return to Harrisburg for the third straight season in that role. Under his tutelage, Abel De Los Santos, Joe Ross, and Sammy Solis all made the jump from Double-A directly to the Major Leagues. Michalak, 44, pitched in four seasons in the big leagues making 61 appearances including 24 starts with Arizona, Toronto, Texas, and Cincinnati.

Brian Rupp will join the staff as the hitting coach after last season with the same title with Single-A Potomac. Rupp was also previously a manager with the P-Nats in 2012 and 11 seasons in the St. Louis and Kansas City organizations. In his playing career Rupp, 44, reached as high as Triple-A after being drafted in the 43rd round by the Cardinals in 1992. The corner infielder was a career .295 hitter and won back to back batting championships in the Arizona and South Atlantic League.

Trainer Eric Montague and strength coach Tony Rogowski are also returning for another summer on City Island.

Other Coaching Moves

* As previously reported by MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, Josh Johnson will become a first-time manager with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nationals. The infielder had a 12-year playing career including parts of four seasons in Harrisburg.

* Jerad Head, who manned the outfield for the Senators in 2013, will take over the reins as the manager of the short-season Single-A Auburn Doubledays. Joining Head’s staff as hitting coach will be Mark Harris who had the same role in Harrisburg the last two seasons.

* The Nationals’ minor league coordinators are the same as last season: Paul Menhart (pitching), Troy Gingrich (hitting), Jeff Garber (co-field), Tommy Shields (co-field), Gary Thurman (outfield/baserunning), Michael Barrett (catching), Mark Grater (rehab pitching), and Jon Kotredes (medical and rehab).

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