New Nationals Coach Dave Martinez: Tips from Joe Maddon, Already Stumping for Bryce Harper

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New Nationals Coach Dave Martinez: Tips from Joe Maddon, Already Stumping for Bryce Harper

Chicago Cubs

It feels like a lifetime ago, but the Cubs’ earliest offseason story was probably the nearly 100% turnover on the coaching staff. Remember that?

And among the most notable coaching losses of the winter was Joe Maddon’s long-time bench coach Dave Martinez. If you recall, he headed over to Washington D.C. to replace Dusty Baker at the helm of the Nationals (… and lose to the Cubs in the 2018 NLDS). Today, Martinez met with the press at the Winter Meetings as the new manager of the Washington Nationals.

First, a couple of images:

And a short video of him discussing his team’s potential offseason moves:

The best part of his first presser, however, included two pertinent yet simple pieces of advice from his former (and long-time) manager Joe Maddon: Be yourself and don’t be afraid to try new things.

In terms of Maddon-esq philosophy, those two are pretty evident in his work day-to-day, and I believe Martinez would be well served following that advice. He’s waited a long time to get a shot at managing his own team, and I genuinely wish him the best (until he meets the Cubs, of course).

On a more specific front, Martinez indicated that he envisions Adam Eaton leading off and playing left field for the Nats next season, which is a good reminder that the Nats will probably get better (versus last season) by simply deploying a healthy Adam Eaton on a daily basis. Of course, Eaton’s addition last offseason was as much about bolstering the Nats’ 2017 and 2018 runs as it was preparing for Bryce Harper’s eventual departure.

On that front, though, Martinez isn’t going down without a fight:

All joking aside, I don’t believe Martinez will be the reason Harper suddenly decides he loves the Nationals (or the reason they decide to give him $350 million or whatever), but I do want to point out that, with Eaton back in the fold and all other systems still a “go”, the Nationals figure to be very, very good once again in 2018. And with a more analytically minded Dave Martinez leading the charge, they could even improve on their excellent 2017 regular season.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami