Snitker to take over managerial duties at Gwinnett
Former Minor League instructor Dascenzo becomes Braves' new third-base coach
ATLANTA -- Brian Snitker is the only member of Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez's coaching staff who has not been offered a contract to return for the 2014 season.
The Braves announced Monday that Snitker had been reassigned to serve as Triple-A Gwinnett's manager. Doug Dascenzo, who has spent the past two seasons as the organization's Minor League baserunning and outfield coordinator, will assume Snitker's former role as Atlanta's third-base coach.
"We had a need for a Triple-A manager and we had the need to have an outfield and baserunning coach at the Major League level," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "We had every other aspect and discipline covered. We just didn't have [baserunning and outfield play] covered as well as we would have liked."
Dascenzo, 49, spent 13 seasons as a manager and coach in San Diego's farm system before joining Atlanta's organization. The former outfielder made his Major League debut with the Cubs in 1988 and hit .234 with 49 stolen bases in 540 career games.
"We have three dynamic outfielders [Jason Heyward, B.J. Upton and Justin Upton] that you really want to make sure are at their best," Wren said. "Baserunning covers our entire team. Doug has done a tremendous job the last couple of years since he has been here. So he was a natural fit. He has great experience coaching third."
Snitker's time with the Braves dates back to his days as a Minor League player in 1977. Before spending the past seven seasons as Atlanta's third-base coach, he had spent most of the previous two decades as a manager in the Braves' farm system.
Snitker will be replacing Randy Ready, who was relieved of his duties after spending just one year in the Braves' system as Gwinnett's manager. Wren said philosophical differences influenced the decision to part ways with Ready.
"Snit is a guy who has been here a long, long time and done a tremendous job," Wren said. "We know what he brings to that role and we're excited to have him at Gwinnett."
Bench coach Carlos Tosca, pitching coach Roger McDowell, bullpen coach Eddie Perez and hitting coaches Greg Walker and Scott Fletcher will return next year with one-year contracts. Gonzalez's contract also runs through the end of the 2014 season.
While he is still feeling the disappointment created by being eliminated by the Dodgers in the National League Division Series, Wren said he was happy with what Gonzalez did while leading the team to a division title, despite the fact the club was weakened by a number of significant injuries.
"Fredi managed through a lot of injuries and performance ups and downs," Wren said. "You've got to be happy when you win 96 games. First and foremost, you've got to get [to the playoffs]. When you lose some of our starting pitching there at the end, with (Tim Hudson's leg injury), not being able to get [Brandon Beachy] back and keep guys healthy, it makes things tough."