According to the Washington Post, the Washington Nationals have interviewed third base coach Trent Jewett for the vacant manager position. Jewett became the fourth person that Mike Rizzo and company have interviewed to be Davey Johnson‘s replacement.
Jewett joins current Nationals bench coach Randy Knorr, Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams and San Diego Padres assistant Brad Asmus as men vying for the vacant position. Many view Williams and Knorr to be the top two candidates and unless Jewett said some pretty bold things in his interview, you can expect those two to still be no 1-2 on the list.
The decision to interview Jewett shouldn’t come as that big a surprise. He has been with the Nationals since 2009 and is a strong candidate for the position. He’s managed in the minors and was tabbed one of the most promising big league managing prospects when he was still managing in the minor leagues. According to the report, Jewett impressed the Nationals staff, but they hired him to be the third base coach so of course they’re impressed with him.
The Nationals have been bringing Jewett up through the minor leagues much like they would a player. Jewett managed the Class A Potomac Nationals in 2009 before managing the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs in 2010. In 2011, he was brought up to the major leagues and has been there ever since. He’s taken a similar route that Knorr took — just a little bit faster.
So far, four candidates have sat in the hot seat in Rizzo’s office and you can at least count on one more. The Nationals have yet to satisfy the MLB rule regarding interviewing at least one African American candidate. While former Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker has shown interest in the Nationals, the Nationals have not shown interest in Baker.
While it takes time to make a decision as important as this one, the Nationals shouldn’t wait too long to hire a new manager. They need to fill that position before they can begin their offseason checklist to make sure that they have the best team possible on the field in 2014.