One of the more undersung aspects of managerial searches is on the rest of the coaching staff. It is largely true that when new managers come in, they want to install their own coaching staffs who have similar visions for the team and have strengths that work well with a given team or staffs.
When Brian Snitker took over for Fredi Gonzalez, that did not happen for the Braves. Some of that was clearly just to keep from having too much upheaval during the season. However, it also speaks to how much the Braves think of the current coaches the Braves have. This was never more true than of Roger McDowell, who the Braves had to sign to a lucrative two-year deal just to keep him away from checking out the Phillies coaching vacancy at the time.
That alone makes the news from today all the more surprising.
Looking for a different voice, the Braves won't bring pitching coach Roger McDowell back next season https://t.co/XRpr5RTUpC— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) October 7, 2016
McDowell has largely been highly respected in his field and by the league at large. His visits to the mound largely resulted in that pitcher making the adjustment needed during an at-bat to get an out and he was given a large amount of credit in the success of earlier Braves’ pitching staffs.
However, the Braves’ pitching staffs (for better or worse) over the last couple of seasons have not performed nearly as well. In addition, Coppy and co. have been openly critical of how young pitchers have developed this season and one wonders if McDowell’s “tough love” has not had the desired effect on many of these young pitchers.
With a gaggle of young pitching on its way in the minors, the Braves felt as though they had to make a change. One wonders if, given that Brian Snitker was expected to keep the majority of the existing coaching staff if he was hired as the full-time manager, that we can expect more shake-ups in the coaching staff in the near future.