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Nationals Part Ways With Pitching Coach Paul Menhart

The Nationals are moving on from pitching coach Paul Menhart, reports Byron Kerr of (Twitter link). The 51-year-old’s contract was set to expire this offseason, and the organization has made the decision not to bring him back, relays Britt Ghiroli of the Athletic (via Twitter).

Formerly Washington’s minor-league pitching coordinator, Menhart took over the big league job when Derek Lilliquist was fired last May. The Nationals began to overcome their now-famous slow start shortly thereafter en route to a World Series title. Obviously, it’s impossible to pin down from the outside how much credit Menhart (or any coach) deserves for that improvement.

Similarly, it’s not clear how much blame Menhart shoulders for the team’s lackluster performance in 2020. This year, Nationals’ pitchers finished 23rd in park-adjusted ERA and 25th in park-adjusted FIP. Reigning World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg barely pitched due to injury, though, and the bullpen has been a thorn in the organization’s side for far longer than Menhart had been on the MLB staff.

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