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Braves name Rick Kranitz pitching coach

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.

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.

Atlanta Braves

New Braves Spring Training ballpark named CoolToday Park

CoolToday signs 20-year naming rights deal

The new Spring Training home of the Atlanta Braves has its name: CoolToday Park.

Earlier today the Atlanta Braves announced a partnership with CoolToday for the naming rights of their new Spring Training ballpark, slated to host its first game on Sunday, March 24 with the Braves taking on the Tampa Bay Rays at 4:05 p.m. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The new Spring Training home of the Atlanta Braves has its name: CoolToday Park.

Earlier today the Atlanta Braves announced a partnership with CoolToday for the naming rights of their new Spring Training ballpark, slated to host its first game on Sunday, March 24 with the Braves taking on the Tampa Bay Rays at 4:05 p.m. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"As part of our commitment to maintain a lifelong relationship with our community, this partnership with the Braves organization, City of North Port, and Sarasota County will cement our presence and strategy for southern Sarasota County," said Jaime DiDomenico, President/Owner of CoolToday. "The Braves have a proven track record of building strong ties to the community they operate in and we look forward to enhancing those ties going forward. I'm very excited about what the future holds."

The 20-year agreement includes scoreboard and dugout signage for CoolToday as well as exterior signage and promotional opportunities for additional events held at the facility.

"This is a new chapter in Braves history and one that strengthens Florida as our home away from home," said Mike Plant, President and CEO of Braves Development Company. "CoolToday and the Braves share deep roots in the state of Florida and we couldn't imagine a more perfect partner for this facility."

The state of Florida has been the home of Braves Spring Training for 96 of the last 103 seasons, including each of the last 73 springs since 1946 and are tied for the longest consecutive run of training in Florida of any team in baseball - the Cardinals, Phillies and Tigers have also trained in Florida every year since 1946.

CoolToday Park is being developed by the Braves in partnership with Sarasota County, the City of North Port and West Villages/Mattamy Homes. Ground breaking on the facility occurred on October 16, 2017 and the first full Spring Training season will happen in 2020.

In conjunction with today's unveiling a new website and Facebook page will go live for the facility. To check out photographs and information on CoolToday Park go to www.braves.com/cooltodaypark and www.facebook.com/CoolTodayPark.

Atlanta Braves

Braves Agree to Terms with Jonny Venters

The Atlanta Braves today agreed to terms with LHP Jonny Venters on a non-guaranteed contract for the 2019 season worth $2.25 million.  

Venters, 33, won the 2018 National League Comeback Player of the Year Award after appearing in 50 games, one start, this season for Tampa Bay and Atlanta and compiling a 3.67 ERA (14 ER/34.1 IP). He made his season debut for the Rays on April 25, marking his first big league action since 2012. Venters underwent three different elbow surgeries after appearing in 230 games with Atlanta over three seasons, 2010-2012. He had his first elbow surgery in 2006.

The Braves acquired him on July 26 from Tampa Bay in exchange for an international signing slot, and Venters went 4-1 with a 3.54 ERA (8 ER/20.1 IP) in 28 games out of the Braves' bullpen. 

Originally a 30th-round draft choice by the Braves in 2003, Venters made his major league debut in 2010. From 2010-2012, Venters struck out 258 batters in 243.2 innings for the Braves, while leading the majors with 85 appearances and making his only All-Star team in 2011. 
 

The Atlanta Braves today agreed to terms with LHP Jonny Venters on a non-guaranteed contract for the 2019 season worth $2.25 million.  

Venters, 33, won the 2018 National League Comeback Player of the Year Award after appearing in 50 games, one start, this season for Tampa Bay and Atlanta and compiling a 3.67 ERA (14 ER/34.1 IP). He made his season debut for the Rays on April 25, marking his first big league action since 2012. Venters underwent three different elbow surgeries after appearing in 230 games with Atlanta over three seasons, 2010-2012. He had his first elbow surgery in 2006.

The Braves acquired him on July 26 from Tampa Bay in exchange for an international signing slot, and Venters went 4-1 with a 3.54 ERA (8 ER/20.1 IP) in 28 games out of the Braves' bullpen. 

Originally a 30th-round draft choice by the Braves in 2003, Venters made his major league debut in 2010. From 2010-2012, Venters struck out 258 batters in 243.2 innings for the Braves, while leading the majors with 85 appearances and making his only All-Star team in 2011. 
 

Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves, FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Southeast and Dickey Broadcasting announce broadcast Team for 2019 Atlanta Braves Season

The Atlanta Braves, FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Southeast and Dickey Broadcasting have announced their respective broadcast teams for the 2019 Atlanta Braves season. 

Braves telecasts on the FOX Sports regional networks will include Chip Caray returning for his 16th season as play-by-play announcer alongside Jeff Francoeur (@JeffFrancoeur) in his new role as lead analyst. Additionally, analyst and Hall of Famer Tom Glavine (@Tom_Glavine) will have an increased presence on the networks.

The Atlanta Braves, FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Southeast and Dickey Broadcasting have announced their respective broadcast teams for the 2019 Atlanta Braves season. 

Braves telecasts on the FOX Sports regional networks will include Chip Caray returning for his 16th season as play-by-play announcer alongside Jeff Francoeur (@JeffFrancoeur) in his new role as lead analyst. Additionally, analyst and Hall of Famer Tom Glavine (@Tom_Glavine) will have an increased presence on the networks.

The Braves Radio Network, the largest sports radio network in baseball, will feature a four-man rotation with the addition of Braves Hall of Famer Joe Simpson and Ben Ingram (@IngramRadio). Simpson and Ingram will join Hall of Famer Don Sutton and Jim Powell (@Jim_Powell) in different combinations throughout the season. In addition to his new radio duties, Simpson will also continue as an analyst with FOX Sports for select telecasts, while Ingram will continue his pre- and postgame shows when not in the booth.

"With Chip, Jeff, Tom and Joe calling the games, fans can look forward to an entertaining and informative 2019 season of Braves baseball on the FOX Sports regional networks," said Jeff Genthner, SVP & General Manager, FOX Sports South and FOX Sports Southeast.

"We are excited that Joe is returning to his roots and doing both radio and TV," said Derek Schiller, Braves President and CEO. "We think we have the most talented TV and radio broadcast lineups in baseball, and we look forward to watching and listening to the new combinations beginning in the spring."

FOX Sports South and FOX Sports Southeast are exclusive regional broadcasters of the Atlanta Braves, televising games to 11 million households across Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The networks' 2019 telecast schedule and full talent roster will be released at a later date. 

Atlanta Braves

Braves sign C Brian McCann

Seven-time All-Star returns to Atlanta

The Atlanta Braves today signed C Brian McCann to a one-year contract worth $2 million for the 2019 season. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the club designated LHP Ricardo Sánchez for assignment. 

McCann, 34, returns to Atlanta after spending the last five seasons in the American League, most recently with Houston. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound native of Athens, Ga., hit .277 (1,070-for-3,863) with 176 home runs and a .823 OPS over nine seasons with the Braves from 2005-2013, making seven All-Star teams (2006-11, 2013) and winning five Silver Slugger awards (2006, 2008-11).

The Atlanta Braves today signed C Brian McCann to a one-year contract worth $2 million for the 2019 season. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the club designated LHP Ricardo Sánchez for assignment. 

McCann, 34, returns to Atlanta after spending the last five seasons in the American League, most recently with Houston. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound native of Athens, Ga., hit .277 (1,070-for-3,863) with 176 home runs and a .823 OPS over nine seasons with the Braves from 2005-2013, making seven All-Star teams (2006-11, 2013) and winning five Silver Slugger awards (2006, 2008-11).

He signed a five-year contract with New York (AL) as a free agent following the 2013 season, and spent three years with the Yankees. He won another Silver Slugger award with New York in 2015, and was dealt to Houston in exchange for Minor League right-handers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman following the 2016 season.

In two seasons with the Astros, McCann hit .230 (124-for-538) with 25 home runs in 160 games, helping Houston win the World Series in 2017. He played in just 63 games in 2018 after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on July 3, and hit .212 with seven home runs and a .640 OPS  

The left-handed hitting McCann leads all active catchers with 270 career home runs and 973 RBIs, while ranking second in games played (1,670), hits (1,521), doubles (285), and OPS (.791).

Originally drafted by the Braves in the second round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, McCann made his Major League debut with Atlanta in 2005. His six Silver Slugger awards are tied for the third-most among catchers with Lance Parrish and behind only Hall of Famers Mike Piazza (10) and Ivan Rodríguez (7). He is also one of four catchers in the modern era (since 1900) to hit at least 20 home runs in 10 or more seasons. He first reached 20 home runs in his first full season in 2006, hitting 24, before reaching the mark in nine consecutive seasons from 2008-16. Piazza (12 seasons), Johnny Bench (11 seasons) and Yogi Berra (11 seasons) are the other three.

Atlanta Braves

Jonny Venters wins National League Comeback Player of the Year

Venters pitched in the Majors for the first time since 2012 this season

The Atlanta Braves congratulate LHP Jonny Venters for winning the National League Comeback Player of the Year Award. Venters returned from three different elbow surgeries to appear in a major league game for the first time since 2012 this season. He is the second Braves player to win the award; RHP Tim Hudson earned the honor in 2010. 

Venters, 33, appeared in 50 games, one start, this season for Tampa Bay and Atlanta, compiling a 3.67 ERA (14 ER/34.1 IP). He made his season debut for the Rays on April 25, marking his first big league action since 2012. Venters underwent three different elbow surgeries after appearing in 230 games with Atlanta over three seasons, 2010-2012. He had his first elbow surgery in 2006.

The Atlanta Braves congratulate LHP Jonny Venters for winning the National League Comeback Player of the Year Award. Venters returned from three different elbow surgeries to appear in a major league game for the first time since 2012 this season. He is the second Braves player to win the award; RHP Tim Hudson earned the honor in 2010. 

Venters, 33, appeared in 50 games, one start, this season for Tampa Bay and Atlanta, compiling a 3.67 ERA (14 ER/34.1 IP). He made his season debut for the Rays on April 25, marking his first big league action since 2012. Venters underwent three different elbow surgeries after appearing in 230 games with Atlanta over three seasons, 2010-2012. He had his first elbow surgery in 2006.

The Braves acquired him on July 26 from Tampa Bay in exchange for an international signing slot, and Venters went 4-1 with a 3.54 ERA (8 ER/20.1 IP) in 28 games out of the Braves' bullpen. 

Originally a 30th-round draft choice by the Braves in 2003, Venters made his major league debut in 2010. From 2010-2012, Venters struck out 258 batters in 243.2 innings for the Braves, while leading the majors with 85 appearances and making his only All-Star team in 2011. 

The Comeback Player of the Year Awards are officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and presented annually to one player in each league who re-emerged on the field during the season. The 30 club beat reporters from MLB.com, the official web site of Major League Baseball, selected the winners from an original list of 30 candidates (one per MLB club). 

Atlanta Braves

Brian Snitker named National League Manager of the Year

Snitker and Bobby Cox are the only Braves managers to win the award

The Atlanta Braves congratulate manager Brian Snitker on winning the 2018 National League Manager of the Year award. Snitker captured 17 of 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), which has presented the award since 1983. The Braves will hold a press conference with Snitker beginning at 8 p.m. in the Delta Club at SunTrust Park that will stream live on Braves.com. FOX Sports Southeast will also broadcast the entire event live.  

In his second full season as manager and his 42nd with the Braves organization, Snitker led the Braves to a 90-72 record and the 18th division title in franchise history. He became the sixth Braves manager to take the team to the postseason by his second full season and the first since Fredi González led the 2012 club to the Wild Card Game. 

Prior to Snitker, Hall of Famer Bobby Cox was the only Braves manager to win Manager of the Year, earning the award in 1991, 2004 and 2005. 

Snitker joined the organization as a non-drafted free agent in 1977. He managed for 20 seasons in the minor leagues, compiling a 1,301-1,309 (.498) record, with five of his clubs advancing to postseason play. He was named Manager of the Year twice while in the minor leagues, winning the award in 1999 and 2000 with Single-A Myrtle Beach.

The Braves finished with a National League high-tying 20 victories in their final at-bat this season after also leading the league in such victories the last two years. They had 20 last season and 19 in 2016. Since Snitker took over as interim manager on May 17, 2016, the Braves have collected 57 last at-bats wins, most in the majors. 

The other four Braves managers to take the team to the postseason by his second full season were George Stallings, Fred Taney, Lum Harris and Joe Torre. Stallings won the World Series in 1914 with the Boston Braves in his second season as manager, while Taney won the 1957 World Series in his managerial debut. Lum Harris led the team to a N.L. West title in 1969 in his second year as manager and the club won the N.L. West in Joe Torre's first season in 1982.

Snitker agreed to a two-year contract with a club option for the 2021 season on October 15. 

Media attending tonight's press conference may enter SunTrust Park at the Third Base Gate. Media parking is available in the surface parking lot that is located just beyond the Delta Parking Deck on the right side of the road.

The Atlanta Braves congratulate manager Brian Snitker on winning the 2018 National League Manager of the Year award. Snitker captured 17 of 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), which has presented the award since 1983. The Braves will hold a press conference with Snitker beginning at 8 p.m. in the Delta Club at SunTrust Park that will stream live on Braves.com. FOX Sports Southeast will also broadcast the entire event live.  

In his second full season as manager and his 42nd with the Braves organization, Snitker led the Braves to a 90-72 record and the 18th division title in franchise history. He became the sixth Braves manager to take the team to the postseason by his second full season and the first since Fredi González led the 2012 club to the Wild Card Game. 

Prior to Snitker, Hall of Famer Bobby Cox was the only Braves manager to win Manager of the Year, earning the award in 1991, 2004 and 2005. 

Snitker joined the organization as a non-drafted free agent in 1977. He managed for 20 seasons in the minor leagues, compiling a 1,301-1,309 (.498) record, with five of his clubs advancing to postseason play. He was named Manager of the Year twice while in the minor leagues, winning the award in 1999 and 2000 with Single-A Myrtle Beach.

The Braves finished with a National League high-tying 20 victories in their final at-bat this season after also leading the league in such victories the last two years. They had 20 last season and 19 in 2016. Since Snitker took over as interim manager on May 17, 2016, the Braves have collected 57 last at-bats wins, most in the majors. 

The other four Braves managers to take the team to the postseason by his second full season were George Stallings, Fred Taney, Lum Harris and Joe Torre. Stallings won the World Series in 1914 with the Boston Braves in his second season as manager, while Taney won the 1957 World Series in his managerial debut. Lum Harris led the team to a N.L. West title in 1969 in his second year as manager and the club won the N.L. West in Joe Torre's first season in 1982.

Snitker agreed to a two-year contract with a club option for the 2021 season on October 15. 

Media attending tonight's press conference may enter SunTrust Park at the Third Base Gate. Media parking is available in the surface parking lot that is located just beyond the Delta Parking Deck on the right side of the road.

Atlanta Braves

Ronald Acuña Jr. named National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year

Acuña Jr. is the eighth Braves player to win the award

The Atlanta Braves congratulate OF Ronald Acuña Jr. on winning the 2018 National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year award. Acuña Jr. captured 27 of 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), which has given the award nationally since 1947.

Acuña Jr., 20, finished his first major league season hitting .293 (127-for-433) with a team-high 26 home runs, a .917 OPS and 16 steals in 111 games. He became one of five players in baseball history to reach 26 home runs in a season prior to his 21st birthday and is the 10th player in history to have 25 home runs and 15 steals in his rookie season and the first since Mike Trout in 2012.

The Atlanta Braves congratulate OF Ronald Acuña Jr. on winning the 2018 National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year award. Acuña Jr. captured 27 of 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), which has given the award nationally since 1947.

Acuña Jr., 20, finished his first major league season hitting .293 (127-for-433) with a team-high 26 home runs, a .917 OPS and 16 steals in 111 games. He became one of five players in baseball history to reach 26 home runs in a season prior to his 21st birthday and is the 10th player in history to have 25 home runs and 15 steals in his rookie season and the first since Mike Trout in 2012.

"First of all, I would like to give thanks to God, my family, my parents and to all my teammates who've always supported me from the first day that I got the call to the big leagues," Acuña Jr. said. "This award represents all our hard work as a team this season."

The 6-foot-0, 205-pound native of La Guaira, Venezuela, who is currently playing with the MLB team that is competing in the Japan All-Star Series, appeared in all 68 games for the Braves after the All-Star break, and hit .322 (85-for-264) with 19 home runs, 54 runs scored, a .403 on-base percentage and a .625 slugging percentage. His 85 hits were the second most among all players in the majors post-break, while his 54 runs tied for the second most and his 19 home runs were tied for fourth most. His 1.028 OPS was the fifth highest.

He became the eighth Braves player to win the Rookie of the Year award and the first since RHP Craig Kimbrel in 2011. The last Braves position player to be named Rookie of the Year was SS Rafael Furcal in 2000.

Acuña Jr. entered 2018 as the No. 2 overall prospect according to MLBPipeline.com and began the season with Triple-A Gwinnett. The club selected his contract from the Stripers on April 25 and he made his MLB debut that night at Cincinnati at the age of 20 years, 128 days. He became the youngest player to debut for the Braves since Julio Teheran debuted at the age of 20 years, 100 days on May 7, 2011 and the youngest position player since Wilson Betemit (19 years, 320 days) in 2001.

He singled in his debut against Kevin Shackelford for his first career hit, before hitting his first homer the next day off Homer Bailey in his first plate appearance. Acuña Jr., at 20 years, 129 days, became the youngest player to homer for the Braves since Andruw Jones hit a solo shot on August 23, 1997 vs. Cincinnati at age of 20 years, 122 days.

Acuña Jr. hit eight leadoff home runs this season to set the franchise single-season record and pass the previous mark of seven, set by Marquis Grissom in 1996. He also homered in five straight games, August 11-August 14, to tie the franchise modern-era record for most consecutive games with a homer. Prior to Acuña Jr., who hit six total homers during his run, the last Braves player to go deep in five straight was Brian McCann in 2006. Acuña Jr. also became the youngest player in baseball history to homer in even four straight games.

Acuña Jr., who made starts at all three outfield positions (13 games, 8 starts in center field; 101 games, 96 starts in left field; 3 games, 3 starts in right field), became just the second player in the modern era to hit a lead-off home run in three consecutive games, when he did so, August 13-14. Baltimore's Brady Anderson holds the major league record with four straight, accomplishing the feat from April 18-21, 1996.

Acuña Jr. also became the youngest player in baseball history to hit a grand slam in a postseason game when he did so in the second inning of Game 3 of the NLDS vs. Los Angeles. Prior to this season, New York's Mickey Mantle was the youngest to hit a grand slam in the playoffs, doing so at the age of 21 in Game 5 of the 1953 World Series against Brooklyn. Acuña Jr.'s slam, which came on a 3-1, second-inning pitch from Walker Buehler, was the seventh in Braves postseason history and the first of Acuña Jr.'s career.

Along with Kimbrel and Furcal, the other five Braves to win the Rookie of the Year award are OF David Justice (1990), 3B Bob Horner (1978), C Earl Williams (1971), OF Sam Jethroe (1950) and SS Alvin Dark (1948).  

Ballots from two writers in each league city prior to postseason play are tabulated on a system that rewards five points for first place, three points for second place and one point for third place.

Atlanta Braves

Nick Markakis wins Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award

The Atlanta Braves congratulate OF Nick Markakis on winning a 2018 National League Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger award, the first such honor of his career. Presented every year since 1980, the Silver Slugger award is issued to the top offensive producers at each position in the field as voted by Major League managers and coaches. 

Markakis, 34, was named to his first All-Star game this season and batted .297 (185-for-623) with 43 doubles, 78 runs and 93 RBI. He was one of two players in the majors to start all 162 games this season, and just the fifth Braves player since the National League went to a 162-game schedule in 1962 to accomplish the feat. Markakis' 43 doubles ranked as third most in the National League, and he became the first Braves player in franchise history (since 1876) to collect at least 35 doubles in four straight seasons.

The Atlanta Braves congratulate OF Nick Markakis on winning a 2018 National League Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger award, the first such honor of his career. Presented every year since 1980, the Silver Slugger award is issued to the top offensive producers at each position in the field as voted by Major League managers and coaches. 

Markakis, 34, was named to his first All-Star game this season and batted .297 (185-for-623) with 43 doubles, 78 runs and 93 RBI. He was one of two players in the majors to start all 162 games this season, and just the fifth Braves player since the National League went to a 162-game schedule in 1962 to accomplish the feat. Markakis' 43 doubles ranked as third most in the National League, and he became the first Braves player in franchise history (since 1876) to collect at least 35 doubles in four straight seasons.

"I'm very honored to be named a Silver Slugger award winner," Markakis said. "It means a lot to be recognized by managers and coaches across the league, but I am particularly proud that I was able to contribute to the overall success of our team."

Markakis ranked among National League outfielders in games (1st, 162), doubles (1st, 43), hits (2nd, 185), RBI (4th, 93) and batting average (4th, .297). He became the seventh Braves outfielder to win the Silver Slugger award, and the first since Justin Upton in 2014. Andruw Jones (2005), Gary Sheffield (2003), David Justice (1993), Ron Gant (1991) and Dale Murphy (1982-85) were also winners. Upton was also the last Braves player at any position to win the award.

Atlanta Braves

Freddie Freeman named Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at first base

The Atlanta Braves congratulate 1B Freddie Freeman on being named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at first base. The awards, issued since 2012, recognize the top defensive player at each position across the majors and are the official MLB defensive achievement award. 

Freeman, 29, finished with 12 defensive runs saved and a 7.8 ultimate zone rating, both of which led qualifying National League first baseman. He appeared in all 162 games for Atlanta and led the majors with 1,415.0 innings at first base. Freeman was named to his third All-Star team this season, and was honored with his first Rawlings Gold Glove award last Sunday. 

The Atlanta Braves congratulate 1B Freddie Freeman on being named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at first base. The awards, issued since 2012, recognize the top defensive player at each position across the majors and are the official MLB defensive achievement award. 

Freeman, 29, finished with 12 defensive runs saved and a 7.8 ultimate zone rating, both of which led qualifying National League first baseman. He appeared in all 162 games for Atlanta and led the majors with 1,415.0 innings at first base. Freeman was named to his third All-Star team this season, and was honored with his first Rawlings Gold Glove award last Sunday. 

"It's a great honor to win the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award," said Freeman. "Defense plays such an important part in winning games, and as an organization we had a goal coming into this season to improve ours. We are thankful for the efforts of our analytics department, and for our coaches who dedicated time to working with us every day to help us get better."

Freeman becomes the fourth Atlanta player to win a Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award, and the sixth Braves honoree overall. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons won three consecutive awards from 2013-2015, while outfielder Jason Heyward was honored in 2014 and outfielder Michael Bourn won the award in 2012. 
 

Atlanta Braves

Braves name Mike Fast special assistant to the general manager

Fast joins Atlanta from the Houston Astros

The Atlanta Braves announced the club hired Mike Fast as a special assistant to general manager Alex Anthopoulos on Wednesday. 

Fast joins the Braves from the Houston Astros, where he spent seven seasons in the club's front office, most recently as the team's director of research and development. 

In his most recent role with Houston, Fast led the Astros' analytical group, while also helping with player evaluations and player transactions. Prior to joining the Astros in February of 2012, Fast wrote for Baseball Prospectus, The Hardball Times and MVN.com. 

Fast worked as a semiconductor engineer for 17 years after graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in engineering physics.  
 

The Atlanta Braves announced the club hired Mike Fast as a special assistant to general manager Alex Anthopoulos on Wednesday. 

Fast joins the Braves from the Houston Astros, where he spent seven seasons in the club's front office, most recently as the team's director of research and development. 

In his most recent role with Houston, Fast led the Astros' analytical group, while also helping with player evaluations and player transactions. Prior to joining the Astros in February of 2012, Fast wrote for Baseball Prospectus, The Hardball Times and MVN.com. 

Fast worked as a semiconductor engineer for 17 years after graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in engineering physics.  
 

Atlanta Braves

Dansby Swanson undergoes left wrist procedure

Procedure removed a loose body

The Atlanta Braves today announced that shortstop Dansby Swanson underwent a procedure to remove a loose body in his left wrist on Monday, Nov. 5. Braves head physician Dr. Gary Lourie performed the procedure in Atlanta and Swanson is expected to be ready for spring training. 

Swanson, 24, hit .238 (114-for-478) with 14 home runs and 59 RBI in 136 games last season. 
 

The Atlanta Braves today announced that shortstop Dansby Swanson underwent a procedure to remove a loose body in his left wrist on Monday, Nov. 5. Braves head physician Dr. Gary Lourie performed the procedure in Atlanta and Swanson is expected to be ready for spring training. 

Swanson, 24, hit .238 (114-for-478) with 14 home runs and 59 RBI in 136 games last season. 
 

Atlanta Braves

Freeman, Inciarte, Markakis Win Gold Gloves

Braves have three Gold Glove winners in the same season for first time in franchise history

The Atlanta Braves congratulate 1B Freddie Freeman, CF Ender Inciarte and RF Nick Markakis on winning a National League Rawlings Gold Glove award this season. This marks the first time the franchise has had three Rawlings Gold Glove winners in a single season since the award's inception in 1957.

 

The Atlanta Braves congratulate 1B Freddie Freeman, CF Ender Inciarte and RF Nick Markakis on winning a National League Rawlings Gold Glove award this season. This marks the first time the franchise has had three Rawlings Gold Glove winners in a single season since the award's inception in 1957.

 

Freeman, 29, collected his first career Rawlings Gold Glove award tonight and became the only Braves first baseman to ever win the award. Freeman, who played all 162 games and made his third All-Star team this season, finished with 12 defensive runs saved and a 7.8 ultimate zone rating, both of which led all National League first baseman.

 

"This is an incredible honor to win a Gold Glove award," Freeman said. "I take a lot of pride in my defense; it's just as important to me as my offense," Freeman said. "I want to thank everyone who voted for me. It means a lot to me to win a Gold Glove."

Inciarte, 28, won the National League Gold Glove for center field for the third consecutive season, and according to MLB Statcast, tied for the major league lead among qualifying outfielders with 21 outs above average. Inciarte is the first Braves player to win three straight Gold Glove awards since CF Andruw Jones won 10 straight from 1998-2007.

 

"Winning the Gold Glove award means everything to me," Inciarte said. "It is a good feeling knowing that all the work I put in every offseason has paid off. I want to keep getting better and receiving this award because the feeling never gets old."

 

Markakis, 34, is a National League Gold Glove winner for the first time, and for the third time overall after winning twice with Baltimore in 2011 and 2014. Markakis, who went to his first career All-Star game and started all 162 games in 2018, is the third Braves right fielder to capture the award, joining Jason Heyward (2012, 2014) and Jeff Francoeur (2007).

 

"This is a great honor to be recognized with the Gold Glove award," Markakis said. "We play a lot of games throughout the season and winning awards isn't what you strive for; the most important part to me is working to help my team win. If you are rewarded at the end of the year with an award, then it's a plus."

 

Prior to tonight, the last National League team with three Rawlings Gold Glove winners in a single season was the 2016 San Francisco Giants, who had C Buster Posey, 2B Joe Panik, and SS Brandon Crawford all earn the honor. The last major league team to have two Gold Glove outfielders in the same season was the 2014 Baltimore Orioles. Markakis and CF Adam Jones won that year.

This also marks just the second time in franchise history the Braves have had two outfielders win in the same season; Jones and Francoeur both collected the award in 2007.               

Atlanta Braves

Braves acquire C Raffy Lopez

Braves' 40-man roster stands at 36

The Atlanta Braves last night acquired C Raffy Lopez from the San Diego Padres in exchange for cash considerations. The club's 40-man roster now stands at 36.

Lopez, 31, appeared in 37 games with the Padres last season, hitting .176 (18-for-102) with three home runs, while also spending time with Triple-A El Paso. Over parts of four major league seasons with Chicago (NL), Cincinnati, Toronto and the Padres, the 5-foot-9, 200-pound native of Philadelphia, Pa., has appeared in 76 games and hit .184 (32-for-174).
 

The Atlanta Braves last night acquired C Raffy Lopez from the San Diego Padres in exchange for cash considerations. The club's 40-man roster now stands at 36.

Lopez, 31, appeared in 37 games with the Padres last season, hitting .176 (18-for-102) with three home runs, while also spending time with Triple-A El Paso. Over parts of four major league seasons with Chicago (NL), Cincinnati, Toronto and the Padres, the 5-foot-9, 200-pound native of Philadelphia, Pa., has appeared in 76 games and hit .184 (32-for-174).
 

Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves will hold their 2019 Chop Fest on Saturday, January 19

ATLANTA (November 1, 2018) -- The Atlanta Braves will host the team's second annual Chop Fest on Saturday, January 19 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta. The event gives fans a preseason opportunity to greet and interact with their favorite players, coaches and alumni. The one-day event will feature an array of activities including question-and-answer sessions, baseball clinics, photos with players, interactive attractions, live entertainment and more.

"Chop Fest gives fans the opportunity to see the team and meet their favorite players while enjoying SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta," said Derek Schiller, Braves President and CEO. "We have some new additions to the weekend that we are excited to share in the coming weeks. We look forward to seeing Braves Country back at the ballpark in January."

ATLANTA (November 1, 2018) -- The Atlanta Braves will host the team's second annual Chop Fest on Saturday, January 19 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta. The event gives fans a preseason opportunity to greet and interact with their favorite players, coaches and alumni. The one-day event will feature an array of activities including question-and-answer sessions, baseball clinics, photos with players, interactive attractions, live entertainment and more.

"Chop Fest gives fans the opportunity to see the team and meet their favorite players while enjoying SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta," said Derek Schiller, Braves President and CEO. "We have some new additions to the weekend that we are excited to share in the coming weeks. We look forward to seeing Braves Country back at the ballpark in January."

A full 2019 Chop Fest schedule as well as confirmed players will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit www.braves.com/chopfest.

Atlanta Braves