The announcement on Brian Snitker’s extension as Braves’ manager was the main topic of today’s presser. It wasn’t the only topic.
The Atlanta Braves held a rare news conference today to let everyone in on perhaps the worst-kept secret of the Alex Anthopoulos era: that manager Brian Snitker would be retained and retained on a new 2-year deal – and possibly more.
But when you have a press conference, the press gets to ask their questions and the GM du jour (Alex Anthopoulos) obliges with answers.
Sometimes those answers can be a bit cryptic. But we’re here to help with that. Let’s hit the highlights.
There have been a bunch of tweets about this topic today, but I’ll spare you most of that. I concur with Bowman: I would expect someone from outside the organization.
My take: if this were going to be an internal hire, it would probably already have been a done deal by now.
Lewallyn has been working with the Braves minor leaguers for a number of years now, and he’d be an excellent candidate… except that I expect his age (in his 60’s) will virtually exclude him. A shame, given that his work has been solid.
That’s likely also true of Reed (57) and Chiti (59) as well. Fasano is 47 – a former catcher and employee of Alex Anthopoulos while in Toronto. His specialty appears to be in catching, though, and not specifically in work as a pitching coach.
Go With New Blood
I have been surprised before, but the Tampa Bay Rays would likely decline a request for the Braves to speak with Kyle Snyder – their current pitching coach. If they were to accept, he’d be a steal.
Snyder (41) has been with that organization since 2012, and worked his way through the minors over 5 years before getting the major league job in 2018. He’s drawn rave reviews for his work in the minors, and … frankly, the Rays’ pitching has been excellent.
Whether that’s due to Snyder specifically or due to Jim Hickey and the program he was responsible for prior to 2018 can be up for debate, but Snyder clearly getting some respect for his work, and I would at least look at him as a prototype for the kind of PC that the Braves should be hiring.
Jim Hickey (57), for his part, has now followed Joe Madden to Chicago to work for the Cubs after 11 years in St. Pete. Things haven’t all been rosy for him thus far in the Friendly Confines, but as with Snyder, it’s hard to consider prying away a coach who has only had a year on the job with his current team.
Other Personnel Changes
This said, multiple sources report that the rest of the major league staff will remain in place (all with new 2 year deals as well)… though if managerial opportunities were to present themselves for Ron Washington or Walt Weiss, the Braves would most likely not object