It is not secret that the Braves’ season this year has been a bit disappointing. The team explicitly expressed its goals of fielding a competitive team in 2017 and, towards that end, signed seemingly reliable veterans such as Bartolo Colon and RA Dickey towards that end in addition to trading for Brandon Phillips in the wake of Sean Rodriguez’s injury.
To some extent, the Braves were successful in improving the team. The Braves have already matched their win total last season and, barring a complete disaster, they will finish with fair number more wins than last year. However, the team hasn’t come close to capturing the magic that they had at the end of last season. Colon turned out to be a failed signing, Freddie Freeman missed significant time due to a wrist injury, and the first wave of young Braves arms have developed slowly or have taken steps back.
In that context, it appears as though the Braves are beginning to mull over whether or not manager Brian Snitker is the guy they want at the helm in 2018.
Rosenthal’s report is full of interesting details, so we highly recommend that you give it a read. The article details specific cases where both John Hart and John Coppolella have expressed frustration at times this season, in particular towards Snitker and his decision making. The team’s performance after an encouraging 45-45 start also seems to be weighing heavily on the decision. Rosenthal seems to indicate that the top in-house candidate for the job would be third base coach Ron Washington, although that is far from a certainty.
That said, Snitker certainly has his supporters, in particular from members of the Braves roster who seem to be heavily sourced in the article. Rosenthal also notes that if Snitker is replaced, he will be the third manager the Braves have had since 2014.
While both Hart and Coppolella declined comment, Snitker seems at peace with the decision whatever it may be. While it is clear that the Braves have yet to give him any certainty one way or the other regarding his future as the manager, he seems to be taking the process in stride. That said, it is also a possibility that if he does not remain the team’s manager, Snitker could leave the organization of which he has been a part of for 41 years.
Stay tuned folks, this offseason could prove to be a seminal one as the Braves look to rebuild towards contention.