Nationals fire pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, promote Paul Menhart

May 3, 2019

The Washington Nationals announced their first staffing change of a so-far disappointing season, but it’s not manager Dave Martinez out the door.

After Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Nationals relieved pitching coach Derek Lilliquist of his duties and named Paul Menhart as his replacement.

Lilliquist was the Cardinals’ pitching coach for seven years and held the job in Washington since the start of the 2018 campaign, the first year of Martinez’s tenure. He was a former big-league pitcher, playing nine seasons with a total of five teams.

So far this year, the Nationals’ pitching has let them down. The bullpen got off to a horrid start and entered Thursday allowing 5.17 runs per game, according to Baseball Reference. Usual Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer is 1-4.

Menhart is in the midst of his 14th season in the Nationals organization. He was promoted from the position of minor league pitching coordinator.

The Nationals avoided a four-game sweep at home by beating the Cardinals 2-1.