Friday morning, the Braves announced that after eleven years as pitching coach, Roger McDowell would not return for 2017. At the 2015 All-Star Break, the club offered a one-year extension for its entire staff, with an option for the 2017 season. McDowell’s option however was not exercised and he’s not free to pursue opportunities with other clubs. “Roger is a terrific coach and even better person. We wish him and his family nothing but the best in the future” said GM John Coppolella through a team Press Release.
So, what does McDowell’s departure mean for the future of the managerial position? I know this starts a lot of speculation that the team is leaning more towards Bud Black than dropping Brian Snitker’s interim tag. I don’t see today’s news as a signal that the Braves are leaning more one way or the other. Let’s not forget, Black served as pitching coach in Anaheim from 2000 through 2006 before being hired as skipper in San Diego.
The job that Brian Snitker did with this club, especially in the second half, is nothing short of remarkable. He had already earned the respect of the guys in the clubhouse prior to being promoted in April. But sometimes a new voice from the outside can also be beneficial to a club going through the rebuilding process that this club is currently involved with. Regardless, the guys who wore that uniform have a lot to be proud about with the way they wrapped up the 2016 season.