John McLaren, who served as Jim Riggleman's bench coach, will manage the Nationals in Chicago tomorrow night and perhaps for a few more days, but won't finish out the season in that role.
A club source said McLaren will serve as "short-term" manager for the immediate future until an interim skipper can be named for the remainder of the season.
McLaren, 59, has managerial experience, ironically taking over on an interim basis in Seattle in 2007 when Mike Hargrove abruptly resigned in midseason with the Mariners on a seven-game winning streak. He went 43-41 the rest of that season and was retained for 2008, only to be fired after 72 games and replaced by Riggleman, who was serving as his bench coach at the time.
McLaren's temporary promotion is likely a product more of convenience and stability than anything. He's been with the club the last two seasons, knows the personnel and had filled in for one game last month when Riggleman was serving a suspension.
It also suggests Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo intends to name someone outside the current coaching staff as his interim skipper for the rest of this season. That could include people who currently work for the organization but aren't with the team on a daily basis, such as special assistant Davey Johnson, or perhaps an outside candidate from another club.