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Every new manager always talks like this. We're going to be aggressive, put pressure on the defense, manufacture runs blah blah. They all say it. It plays awesome on talk radio and with the fan base. Wait and see.
The Nationals will keep most of their coaching staff intact despite a change in managers, a decision both Mike Rizzo and Matt Williams agreed upon, but they will have two new coaches in uniform next season, including one who will hold a brand-new position...
Mark Weidemaier, formerly a member of the Diamondbacks’ front office, will be hired to serve as a seventh uniformed coach, coordinating the club’s defensive positioning and advance scouting.
Weidemaier’s hiring is particularly intriguing because it follows a recent trend in baseball to emphasize defensive positioning based on scouting and advanced stats. The Rays and Pirates were among the most notable clubs to employ regular infield shifts this season and wound up making the playoffs in part because of their strong defensive efficiency.
Williams, who was given the opportunity by Rizzo to make changes to his new staff, immediately requested the addition of Weidemaier, who helped Arizona become one of the game’s better defensive teams.
“One of the reasons I wanted to bring Mark Weidemaier on board is that he is an expert at that,” Williams said. “He has been an advance scout. He created all of our defensive advanced reports with Arizona, has scouted both leagues, spent 175 days of the 180 days of the season in a hotel room on the road, knows what he’s doing. And I think that will help us be a better team.”
Rizzo embraced the idea and approved the addition of a seventh coach to Williams’ staff.
“That’s one of the things he feels is very important: defensive alignment and advanced sabermetrics,” the general manager said. “And this is a guy he feels brings a lot to the table. I’ve known him myself for 25 years, worked against him many times as an advanced scout, and he’ll be great addition to the team.”
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