When Brian Snitker took over for Fredi Gonzalez on May 17, he looked like little more than a placeholder for the remainder of the season. Snitker inherited a team that was 9-28 but a big turnaround in the second half has him building momentum as a strong candidate to keep the job on a permanent basis.
The Braves have gone 54-63 under Snitker including a 45-45 stretch since June 15. The team is 13-8 so far in September and is starting to flip the narrative on what has been painful at times rebuild.
Snitker is a candidate to retain the job according to a report by FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, but the Braves still plan to interview several candidates.
The Braves say interim manager Brian Snitker has done a fine job and is in the mix, but as expected, they plan to interview manager candidates, which seems to suggest there’s also a good chance they’ll hire a new manager.
Heyman mentions Snitker along with bench coach Terry Pendleton and third base coach Bo Porter as internal candidates that the team will consider. Outside candidates according to Heyman include Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo and former Padres manager Bud Black.
Terry Pendleton and Bo Porter are the other main inside candidates. In addition to Torey Lovullo, other names that could be considered include Bud Black, Ron Gardenhire and Don Wakamatsu.
If you are the Braves in this situation, there is absolutely no reason that they shouldn’t interview several candidates for the job including Snitker. Choosing a manager this offseason may be one of the most critical decisions the team will face. The Braves know Snitker well given his lengthy service with the franchise, but they need to make sure that he is the right choice to lead this team through the next phase of the rebuild.
One thing Snitker has in his favor is the overwhelming support of his current players. Freddie Freeman was among several players who recently shared their appreciation for Snitker with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien.
“I enjoy him,” Freeman said. “I loved him when he was here as a third-base coach. He’s just a calm guy. He goes out there, puts the lineup down and lets guys go to work. His presence is something that just makes you want to run through walls for. I think everybody in this clubhouse has responded to him, because he’s such a good guy, he treats everybody the right way. I love him, so you just want to go out there and do as good as you can for him….
Snitker has done just about everything you could ask of an interim manager. Whether or not the Braves think he is the answer long-term remains to be seen.