Tripp Keister will return as the Harrisburg Senators manager for a second season in 2022. The Washington Nationals announced the full coaching staffs for its minor league affiliates on Tuesday.
Washington announced sweeping changes to it’s minor league staffs, hiring more than 20 additional staff members. According to the Washington Post, the Nationals ranked last in minor league staff size in 2021.
MLB clubs across the board are investing more resources in player development. In 2022, the Nationals have added a developmental coach in each of its four minor league affiliates, plus nutritionists, mental skills coordinators and hitting coordinators.
According to the MLB Pipeline, the Nationals farm system was one of the most improved in 2021. The team moved from its 2021 preseason rank of No. 30 to No. 20 by the end of the season.
“When the organization decided it was not contending in 2021, it went all-in on selling as the Trade Deadline approached,” according to MLB Pipeline. “That led to a whole lot of depth, with nearly a third of the team’s Top 30 coming from 2021 trades. That list was topped by recently graduated catcher Keibert Ruiz and right-hander Josiah Gray, both of whom came from the Dodgers in the Max Scherzer/Trea Turner deal.”
The MLB Pipeline commended the Nationals for developing talent like first-round picks Cade Cavalli (2020) and Brady House (2021). Cavalli moved from High-A to Triple-A in 2021, and spent from June 15 to August 24 with the Senators. In that time, Cavalli went 3-3 in 11 starts with a 2.79 ERA.
Athletic Trainer TD Swinford and Strength & Conditioning Coach RJ Guyer will return in their roles in 2022. Hitting coach Micah Franklin, Developmental Coach Oscar Salazar and Pitching Coach Justin Lord are all new to Harrisburg.
More on new coaches
Micah Franklin joins the Nationals after five seasons (2017-21) as a hitting coach in Arizona’s Minor League system. He spent the 2021 season with Low-A Visalia. Franklin transitioned into a coaching role after spending three seasons (2014-16) as a scout with Seattle and five (2009-13) as a scout with the Diamondbacks. Franklin appeared in 17 games with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1997.
Oscar Salazar spent the 2021 season as the hitting coach for Triple-A El Paso in San Diego’s Minor League system, and from 2017-19, served as the hitting coach for San Diego’s Rookie-level Northwest League affiliate. He played 19 professional seasons, including parts of four Major League seasons with the Detroit Tigers (2002), Baltimore Orioles (2008-09) and San Diego Padres (2009-10).
Justin Lord moves to Double-A Harrisburg after spending the 2021 season with High-A Wilmington. Lord joined the Nationals in 2020 after seven seasons (2013-19) as a pitching coach in the Baltimore Orioles Minor League system.
The Senators finished the 2021 season with a 42-76 record and finished last in the Southwest Division of Double-A Northeast. The Senators scored a league-worst 432 runs and allowed 532 runs in 2021. K.J. Harrison led the Senators with 14 home runs, while Aldrem Corredor chipped in 52 RBIs.
The Harrisburg Senators will play 69 home games beginning Tuesday, April 12 against the Portland Sea Dogs. The season opener is Friday, April 8 at Altoona. The 138-game 2022 season will run through Sunday, September 18. Each series will again be six games playing from Tuesday through Sunday with every Monday as an off day.