ATLANTA -- Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos will wait until early next week to announce his coaching staff for the 2019 season. But he and his top aides spent most of Tuesday meeting with manager Brian Snitker and the coaches who helped the team exceed all expectations on the way
ATLANTA -- Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos will wait until early next week to announce his coaching staff for the 2019 season. But he and his top aides spent most of Tuesday meeting with manager Brian Snitker and the coaches who helped the team exceed all expectations on the way to winning the National League East.
"I understand you're never guaranteed tomorrow," Snitker said Tuesday afternoon. "I know I'd like to [come back]. I've enjoyed it. I loved [the players] in there and [the coaches]. I loved being around them. It's been awesome. So, I'd like to do it a few more years."
From the time he assumed his role and began learning the organization last offseason, Anthopoulos has routinely taken a methodical approach to every decision. But the fact he wants to spend this week evaluating the staff indicates there may be a tweak or two to the coaching staff.
But there has been no reason to believe Snitker would be removed from his current role. He's a top NL Manager of the Year Award candidate, and more importantly, his ouster would prove counterproductive within a clubhouse that loves his presence as a leader.
"I love playing for Snit," Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said after the Braves were eliminated from the NL Division Series on Monday in a 6-2 loss in Game 4. "He did a remarkable job. He did a remarkable job. It's really hard to handle 25 or 35 personalities. He's one of the best at it."
As Snitker spent this season being introduced to much-improved analytical approach brought to the organization by Anthopoulos, he and his boss seemed to develop a strong mutual respect.
"He's an easy guy to play for as a player, and I mean that as a compliment,' Anthopoulos said last week. "Who is ever going to complain about playing for Snit? He's fair and he's honest. No matter what manager you have, there are going to be times that fans are going to agree and disagree with moves. But that player part starts first. If they're not buying into you, you don't have a shot."
Snitker touched on a few other topics as he took a break from the meetings on Tuesday:
On what was learned from competing against the Dodgers in the NLDS
"I'm looking over [at the Dodgers], and I'm thinking, 'That's what it looks like,'" Snitker said. "They're four wins away from going to the World Series again. Over the course of this season, I kept wondering if we were strong enough to pull this off.
"We've got to get stronger as a team to compete in that situation, because [the Dodgers] are really deep. They're strong. We're not there yet. We'll get there. We've just got to continue to work to get stronger with the bullpen depth, the bench and things like that. We're not a finished product by any means. There's a lot of young players on our team -- position players and pitchers -- that will take steps to get there."
Update on Dansby Swanson, who missed the NLDS because of a torn ligament in his left hand
"Talking to the doctors, he just needs rest and time. He just needs to heal and he should be fine. It's just something that will take a while. He'll continue treatment and rest before he actually starts offseason stuff. But they have never expressed any long-term concerns to me. He should be ready for the start of Spring Training," said Snitker.
On the left-handed-hitting inconsistencies of switch-hitter Ozzie Albies, who produced a .810 OPS vs. right-handed pitchers in the first half and .492 OPS against them in the second half
"He's going to have to make some adjustments," Snitker said. "I think we saw it in spurts. [In terms of age] he's a junior in college. He's got a lot of experience, but he's still a young big leaguer. This was his first full year too. He came out, burst on the scene and still ended up with a pretty solid year. He's going to have to adjust. That's what this is all about. I have all the confidence in him as a player. He's got the skill set. It's sometimes not a bad thing to [struggle] a little bit. It takes a while. You just have to be patient with these guys."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.