Braves announce Minor League coaching staffs
ATLANTA -- The Braves' Minor League system will have a familiar feel in 2015, as five of the organization's six affiliates will be led by managers who were in the system last year.
Brian Snitker (Triple-A Gwinnett), Aaron Holbert (Double-A Mississippi), Luis Salazar (Class A Advanced Carolina), Randy Ingle (Class A Rome) and Rocket Wheeler (Rookie-level Danville) have all accepted invitations to serve as managers within the organization again next year.
With Jonathan Schuerholz transitioning from his duties as Rome's manager to an assistant player-development director within Atlanta's front office, the Braves have welcomed Robinson Cancel into the organization to manage the Gulf Coast League Braves club, which performed under Wheeler's direction this past season.
The Braves also announced that 17 of the 18 Minor League coaches they employed last season will return for the 2015 campaign.
John Moses, who will serve as Gwinnett's hitting coach, will stand as the only newcomer to Atlanta's Minor League coaching staff. Moses will replace Gary Ingram, who will return to his former role as Mississippi's hitting coach. Ingram held this position from 2010-13 and then spent this past season as Gwinnett's hitting coach.
Snitker has filled a variety of roles within the Braves organization dating back to 1977, when he was a young Minor League catcher. He gained his first managerial opportunity with the 1982 Class A Anderson club that included a young left-hander named Zane Smith. Snitker served as Atlanta's third-base coach from 2006-13 before becoming Gwinnett's manager last year.
The Braves have also benefited from the loyalty shown by Ingle, who is preparing for his 24th season as a Minor League manager within the organization. His first managerial stint with the club came with the 1990 Rookie-level Pulaski club that featured Tony Graffanino.
Along with handling his duties as the director of player development, Dave Trembley will serve as the Minor League field coordinator, the same role he held for two years (2011-12) before joining Houston's Major League coaching staff.
The Braves also announced that they have retained each of their roving instructors and coordinators -- Joe Breeden (catching instructor), Luis Lopez (infield instructor), Rich Dubee (pitching coordinator), Ronnie Ortegon (hitting coordinator) and Bobby Mitchell (outfield/baserunning instructor).
Lee Elia, who has been a part of the professional baseball world since 1959, and Lebi Ochoa will serve as senior advisers to the player-development department.
Chris Dayton, who served as Mississippi's strength-and-conditioning coordinator in 2012 and '14, has been promoted to serve as an assistant to Rick Slate, who will once again serve as the organization's director of strength and conditioning.
Jeff Pink has been hired to serve as the Minor League equipment manager. Pink, who will be based at the club's Spring Training complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., spent the past five years working at Toronto's Spring Training complex in Dunedin, Fla.
A look at the Braves' 2015 Minor League coaching staffs:
Gwinnett: Snitker (manager), Moses (hitting coach), Marty Reed (pitching coach), Mike Graus (trainer)
Mississippi: Holbert (manager), Ingram (hitting coach), Dennis Lewallyn (pitching coach), Ricky Alcantara (trainer)
Carolina: Salazar (manager), Carlos Mendez (hitting coach), Derrick Lewis (pitching coach), Joe Toenjes (trainer)
Rome: Ingle (manager), Bobby Moore (hitting coach), Gabe Luckert (pitching coach), Kyle Damschroder (trainer)
Danville: Wheeler (manager), Ivan Cruz (hitting coach), Dan Meyer (pitching coach), Joe Luat (trainer)
Gulf Coast League: Cancel (manager), Rick Albert (hitting coach), Willian Martinez (pitching coach), Julio Hernandez (trainer)