Should the Atlanta Braves re-sign current manager Brian Snitker this off-season or explore other options?
The Atlanta Braves are in the midst of their best month of the season posting large offensive numbers and scoring with regularity for one of the few times in recent memory. Brian Snitker has managed the bullpen well and coaxed a lot of innings out of below average or inexperienced starting pitchers. He has helped his case for remaining the Braves manager tremendously and looks to have a good handle on the clubhouse.
Snitker has recently made it known that he hopes to remain the Braves manager. While this certainly isn’t surprising it is good to see a long season hasn’t worn Snitker down. It seems to have had quite the opposite effect on both the coaches and players. Snitker is forcing the Braves to consider, should they keep the first year manager?
To give a well educated answer to that question you have to consider both sides of the decision. While keeping Snitker may seem like a simple decision the Braves will question whether keeping him would make it difficult to transition to a competing team?
Do the Braves need a new perspective and new atmosphere completely to help them turn it around? The obvious answer to this question would be no, considering how well they have done over the month of September. But in fairness the month of September is a small sample size.
If you look at Snitker’s full season as a manager he made some rookie mistakes early in his tenure as the Braves’ manager and did little to change the culture in his first few months. Will September come into play next season or is it simply an inevitable hot streak for a badly managed team?
If the Braves opt to change managers it will be to give the players a fresh perspective and leadership style that the Braves hope will translate into more wins.
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The other option would be to extend Snitker beyond this season. He can make a solid case that he managed admirably when you consider the talent that he has to work with. While managing not to lose one-hundred games may not be a strong selling point, considering the team that Snitker took over it is a solid argument.
He has proven this month he can win and get the best out of below average players. His tenure has seen a lot of Atlanta Braves’ players overachieve (Namely Jace Peterson, Matt Kemp, and Adonis Garcia). He has managed a bullpen and rotation full of holes and injuries and has often kept the Braves in games and gotten a lot out of a bullpen that was expected to be a weakness.
Snitker has kept the clubhouse in order as well, he has avoided any clubhouse issues and kept most everything in house. The team seems to respond well to Snitker and respect his leadership on the surface.
Brian Snitker should be given a full season to prove that he is a Major League manager capable of winning with the Atlanta Braves. The Braves will spend this off-season doing something they rarely do spending money and bringing in a large amount of talent headed into the new stadium. Unless another Joe Maddon appears Snitker is the best candidate for the job and should have a contract for the 2017 season.