The Atlanta Braves finally made a decision on who would manage their team in the 2017 season and hopefully beyond. They have hired Brian Snitker as their manager of 2017 and finished hiring the rest of the coaching staff the full statement can be found below:
"The Atlanta Braves today named Brian Snitker as the club’s manager for 2017, with a club option for 2018. Atlanta also named its coaching staff for next season, exercising 2017 contract options on bench coach Terry Pendleton, first base coach Eddie Perez, hitting coach Kevin Seitzer and assistant hitting coach Jose Castro. Bullpen coach Marty Reed will return for 2017, while Chuck Hernandez has been named as the pitching coach and Ron Washington has been named the third base coach. Former third base coach Bo Porter has been named as a Special Assistant to the General Manager."
The biggest surprise may be the change in pitching coach. Adding Chuck Hernandez will provide a new perspective and the Braves hope it will help their young pitchers take a step forward this year. He has been the minor league coordinator for the Braves and has experience as a pitching coach in other organizations. The only concern may be the fact that the new perspective could throw off the few young players who have figured it out and still pay attention to a pitching coach.
The other surprise addition to the team is Ron Washington. Washington was being interviewed for the manager position but lost out to Snitker. Adding him to the coaching staff should help keep the team loose and add another voice of leadership in the clubhouse. Washington was the manager for the Texas Rangers for multiple seasons.
Hiring Brian Snitker while infusing fresh perspectives was the correct choice for the Atlanta Braves to make. Snitker has proven himself to the organization and most importantly to his team. Bringing in new coaches around Snitker will help provide a fresh perspective without altering the team’s chemistry that they found at the end of this past season.
The team went on a run under Snitker after adding slugger Matt Kemp to the lineup and put together back to back months of a record right around .500. Considering the lack of talent on the roster that is impressive and may be what earned Snitker another shot in 2017.