ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves today named Rick Kranitz as the club’s pitching coach.
Kranitz, 60, served in the same role with Philadelphia last season, his 18th on a major league coaching staff. The native of San Rafael, Calif., joined the Phillies in the 2015 offseason as the club’s bullpen coach, before the team promoted him to assistant pitching coach for 2017. He gained the club’s top pitching job on December 1, 2017 and helped lead a staff headlined by National League Cy Young Award finalist Aaron Nola.
“I’m thrilled to add Rick to our coaching staff,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Right from the start of the interview process, Rick stood out with his knowledge, credentials, and experience. He has had a lot of success developing young talent and he is going to have a big impact getting the most out of all of our pitchers.”
Prior to joining the Phillies, Kranitz served for five years (2011-15) as Milwaukee’s pitching coach. In 2012, the Brewers’ staff fanned 1,402 batters, at the time the second most in major league history.
“Rick is a tremendous addition to our organization,” Braves executive vice president and general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. “His proven record of success, along with his work ethic and passion for the game, made him the perfect fit for us.”
Kranitz also worked as the pitching coach for both Florida (2006-07) and Baltimore (2008-10). He was named the 2006 Major League Coach of the Year by Baseball America after his Marlins staff that year became the first ever to have four rookies (Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Scott Olsen and Aníbal Sánchez) with at least 10 wins each.
Kranitz began his coaching career in 1984, serving as a player/coach for the Pikeville Cubs, Chicago’s rookie-level affiliate in the Appalachian League. He worked for 22 years (through 2005) in the Cubs’ organization, assuming a variety of roles at both the major league and minor league level. Kranitz first served on a major league staff in 1996, working under manager Jim Riggleman as the Cubs’ assistant pitching coach. Kranitz stayed in that role through the 1998 season, before returning to the position in 2000 and 2001. He also worked as the club’s bullpen coach in 2002.
A right-handed pitcher, Kranitz played at Yavapai Junior College in Arizona and helped the Roughriders win the 1977 National Championship. He moved to Oklahoma State in 1978 and pitched there for two seasons before getting drafted by Milwaukee in the fourth round of the 1979 draft. He pitched for five seasons in the Brewers’ organization, before spending two seasons in the Cubs’ minor league system. He retired from playing following the 1985 season with a career record of 37-39 and a 3.98 ERA in 119 games.