The Washington Nationals expanded the analytics wing of their front office with several moves on Friday.
The department, labeled Baseball Research and Development, is overseen by Adam Cromie, who was given the title of assistant general manager to his previous role of director of baseball operations.
Cromie's top assistant, Sam Mondry-Cohen, was promoted to director of research and baseball development, and Michael Debartolo was promoted to manager of the department. The team also hired Josh Weinstock as an analyst in the department.
General manager Mike Rizzo praised the moves. From the Washington Post:
“We’ve got ourselves a full-fledged analytical staff, which has grown,” Rizzo said. “The brainpower in that group is amazing – extremely intelligent people, some Ivy Leaguers and great minds.”
“I’ve always been a big proponent of it,” Rizzo said. “It’s important enough that we increased that department. It’s a hugely important aspect of roster construction and building up a franchise. You combine that with some of the finest evaluators and scouts out in the field, I think you have the best of both worlds.”
According to the newspaper, even though he's been given a similar title, Cromie isn't replacing former assistant GM Bryan Minniti, who left to take the same position with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.
Rizzo said the team will be hiring an assistant GM and vice president "soon."
The Nationals went 96-66 this season and won the National League East for the second time in three seasons. As in 2012, though, Washington was eliminated from the playoffs in the NLDS, losing to the San Francisco Giants in four games this year.
- Ben Estes