Berryhill part of Braves' 2017 Minor League staff

Former catcher returns to organization as Triple-A manager

December 12th, 2016

ATLANTA -- Nearly a quarter century after aiding the ninth-inning rally that made Francisco Cabrera famous, Damon Berryhill is returning to the Braves' organization to become Triple-A Gwinnett's manager.
Homecomings and new beginnings were a couple of themes that emerged when the Braves announced their 2017 Minor League coaching staff assignments on Monday afternoon. Berryhill and Paul Runge are returning to the organization, and one year after ending his days as one of the most affable players in Atlanta's system, Barrett Kleinknecht will get his first chance to serve as a manager.
While Berryhill will lead the Gwinnett squad, Runge returns to Atlanta's organization for the first time since 2010 to serve as the manager of the Florida Fire Frogs, who will replace the Carolina Mudcats as the Braves' Class A Advanced affiliate. Kleinknecht will manage the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League team that will begin play in June.
Highly regarded pitching coach Dennis Lewallyn will move from Double-A Mississippi to the new Florida affiliate. This will enable him to work with a prospect-rich starting rotation that could include Kolby Allard, Mike Soroka, , and Drew Harrington.
The reigning South Atlantic League champion Class A Rome Braves will once again be led by Randy Ingle, who will be entering his 26th season as a manager within Atlanta's system. Ingle's coaching staff will remain the same, as Dan Meyer is set to serve as the pitching coach and Bobby Moore as the hitting coach.
Berryhill joins Gwinnett with the strong credentials he built while serving as a manager within the Dodgers' system from 2009-15. Five of the seven teams he skippered qualified for the postseason. The 52-year-old former big league catcher was named the 2015 Triple-A Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year, but the Dodgers opted to not renew his contract for 2016.
After being acquired by the Braves from the Cubs with just one week left in the worst-to-first 1991 season, Berryhill served as Atlanta's primary catcher for the next two seasons. He hit a decisive two-out, three-run homer off Jack Morris in Game 1 of the 1992 World Series vs. the Blue Jays, and also drew a one-out walk that helped extend the ninth inning long enough for Cabrera to deliver his famous single that concluded the National League Championship Series earlier that October.
Berryhill's staff at Gwinnett will include pitching coach Reid Cornelius and hitting coach John Moses. Cornelius was within the Marlins' organization for the past 14 season, the past seven as Miami's bullpen coach. Moses served as Gwinnett's interim manager this season after Brian Snitker was promoted to fill Atlanta's managerial vacancy.
Luis Salazar will return to Mississippi to begin his seventh straight season as a manager within Atlanta's system. His staff will include pitching coach Derrick Lewis, who spent the past three seasons at the Class A Advanced level, and Ivan Cruz, who spent the past three seasons with Rookie-level Danville.
Runge, who previously managed in Atlanta's system from 1994-2001 and 2005-10, spent the past six seasons as the Astros' Minor League field coordinator. His Florida staff will include Lewallyn and hitting coach Carlos Mendez, who has served in this role at this same level each of the past three seasons.
Kleinknecht's assignment as the GCL club's manager comes after he opted to end his six-season playing career in Spring Training to serve as a roving instructor within Atlanta's system this year. His staff will include two longtime instructors -- pitching coach Larry McCall and hitting coach Rick Albert.
Danville will be managed by Nestor Perez, whose staff will include pitching coach and hitting coach Barbaro Garbey.