After falling to a 9-28 record on the 2016 campaign with a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night, the Atlanta Braves altered their coaching staff on Tuesday, most notably by firing manager Fredi Gonzalez.
Gonzalez managed the Braves for over five seasons since being named for the job by the departing Bobby Cox at the conclusion of the 2010 season. Gonzalez boasted a 434-413 record in his tenure as Atlanta’s manager, a time that featured a postseason appearance in 2012 and a National League East crown in 2013. Gonzalez maintained a 710-692 record during the entirety of his career as a manager that included a four-year stint with the Miami Marlins.
In a move corresponding with the firing of Gonzalez, the Braves named long-time member of the organization Brian Snitker as their interim manager. The 60-year-old Snitker has been involved in Atlanta’s organization dating back to 1977. Snitker played in the Braves’ minor-league system for four seasons before managing at the Single-A level for five seasons in the 1980s and 1992. For an eleven-year period beginning in 1996, Snitker managed at every level in Atlanta’s farm system, from Rookie ball to Triple-A. Snitker was the Braves’ third-base coach from 2006 to 2013 and managed the Triple-A Gwinett Braves from 2014 until his promotion on Tuesday.
The Braves also relieved bench coach Carlos Tosca of his duties. Tosca served as Gonzalez’s backup throughout his managerial career. Terry Pendleton will take over as the team’s bench coach. Eddie Perez, Atlanta’s previous bullpen coach, will take over as the first-base coach, a spot once filled by Pendleton. Perez’s duties as bullpen coach have been assigned to Marty Reed, Gwinett’s former pitching coach.
The Braves previously cogitated naming either Pendleton or Perez as their interim manager, but they opted not to and will take a closer look at the two when the time comes to permanently fill the job.
Speaking of permanently filling the job, Bud Black, a current special assistant for the Los Angeles Angels, has a contract that would allow him to leave his position should he be offered a managerial job. Ron Gardenhire — who is a special assistant with the Minnesota Twins — can, too, leave his duties if offered a job as a manager. Black served as the San Diego Padres’ manager from 2006 to 2015; Gardenhire was the manager of the Twins for thirteen seasons.