Former base coach and infield instructor Ron Washington has returned to the Oakland A's, the team announced on Thursday. In a move first reported by The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser on Tuesday evening, the A's have re-united with Washington, who will help the big league club try to improve its league-worst defense.
"Wash" spent 11 years as a big league coach with the A's from 1996-2006, serving as a base coach and as an infield instructor. During his time with the team, the A's made five post-seasons. Wash was credited with helping several of the A's infielders become better than league-average fielders, including third baseman Eric Chavez. Under Wash's watchful eye, Chavez went from a defensive liability at third to a six-time Gold Glove winner.
Before the 2007 season, Wash left the A's to become the manager of the Texas Rangers. He remained in that position until late last year, when he resigned for personal reasons. Wash took the Rangers to their first two World Series and is the all-time wins leader in Rangers/Senators history.
Although Wash will be with the A's for the rest of the season, he will not be eligible to be on the bench or out in the field during games, as the A's already have the maximum number of uniformed coaches allowed by MLB rules. Wash is expected to be involved in pre-game drills and pre-game meetings, however.
The A's defense has been a big factor in the team's disappointing start to the 2015 season. Shortstop Marcus Semien leads all of MLB in errors with 16 and the A's are dead-last in every defensive category.