WASHINGTON -- A few hours after they promoted Jim Riggleman from bench coach to interim manager, the Nationals called Pat Corrales and asked him to return as the team's bench coach. He happily accepted.
Corrales was on his way to Atlanta to be with his family when he was told to report to Nationals Park for a team workout on Wednesday evening.
As does Riggleman, Corrales would like to see the Nationals improve their defense, which ranked 30th entering Thursday's action against the Cubs, and get better with runners in scoring position. They are hitting .251 in such situations and .211 with runners in scoring position with two outs.
"There are a number of things. They are known facts," Corrales said.
Corrales, who is best known for developing catcher Jesus Flores and Rangers outfielder Andruw Jones, was the Nationals' bench coach the previous two years before then-general manager Jim Bowden dismissed him after the 2008 season. Later in the offseason, Corrales accepted a role as the team's special consultant to the GM.
In that role, Corrales spent a lot of time in every Minor League affiliate and helped players develop.
"Contrary to what people think, we have young players who can play, and they are going to be [in the Major Leagues]," he said.
One player who impressed Corrales was shortstop Ian Desmond, who is having the best season of his career, hitting .306 with six home runs and 18 RBIs for Double-A Harrisburg. Desmond, according to Corrales, is showing leadership skills.
"He has grown up," Corrales said. "We he first arrived in Spring Training [in 2005], he was a young kid, but he has matured. He has become a leader. When I was in Harrisburg, they didn't know how to play without him. When he wasn't there, they were lost. When he came back, it was all good."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.