Braves announce minor league staffs

The Braves have announced their minor league coaching staffs with Brian Snitker heading back to Gwinnett.

The Atlanta Braves announced their 2015 minor league coaching staffs today, including five managers returning for the upcoming season. In addition, 17 of the 18 coaches on staff last season are returning to the Braves for the 2015 season, with 11 of those 17 remaining in their same role and with the same club. The one newcomer joining the Braves minor league coaching staff is Robinson Cancel, who will skipper the Gulf Coast League (R) Braves.

Brian Snitker, who returned to a managerial role in 2014, will lead the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves for his second consecutive season. Snitker was named to his first managerial position in 1982 with Anderson of the South Atlantic League and in his 18 seasons as a minor league manager, he has compiled an overall record of 1,205-1,222 (.496). Pitching coach Marty Reed will serve his fifth season with Gwinnett, while John Moses will be in his first season as the hitting coach after spending the previous two seasons in the same role with the organization’s High-A club. Trainer Mike Graus will be entering his 23rd season with the Braves and his 10th with the Triple-A Club.

Aaron Holbert, who owns an overall record of 516-456 (.531) in seven seasons, returns to skipper the Mississippi Braves (AA) for his fourth consecutive season, while pitching coach Dennis Lewallyn will serve his third straight season as pitching coach and trainer Ricky Alcantara returns for his eighth campaign. New to the Double-A coaching staff in 2015 is hitting coach Gary Ingram. Ingram, who spent his first four seasons in the organization as Mississippi’s hitting coach (2010-13) returns to Mississippi after spending the 2014 season as the organization’s Triple-A hitting coach.

Luis Salazar will serve his fifth season as manager for the Braves High-A team as the club plays their inaugural season as the Carolina Mudcats. Salazar, who will be in his 12th season overall as a minor league manager, owns an overall record of 567-623 (.476). Also returning to High-A staff is pitching coach Derrick Lewis, who is in his 12th season with the Braves, while trainer Joe Toenjes returns for his third consecutive year in his sixth season overall as a trainer for the Braves. Joining the High-A staff is hitting coach Carlos Mendez, who is entering his eighth season in the organization and spent the previous four seasons as the Danville Braves hitting coach.

The Rome (A) Braves will feature a new manager as Randy Ingle will be at the helm for the club. The 2015 campaign will mark Ingle’s 24th season as a manager in the Braves organization. He spent the 2014 season managing the Danville (R) Braves and owns an overall record of 1,381-1,460 (.486), including a 38-30 mark in 2014. Returning to the Rome staff for his second season is pitching coach Gabe Luckert, while hitting coach Bobby Moore returns for his third straight season. In his fifth season as a trainer in the organization, Kyle Damschroder returns for his third consecutive campaign with Rome.

Ralph “Rocket” Wheeler, who will be in his 13th season as a minor league manager in the Braves organization, will lead the Danville (Rookie) Braves in 2015, his first appointment with the club. Wheeler spent the 2014 campaign with the Gulf Coast League Braves and owns an overall record of 1,257-1,349 (.482) spanning 23 seasons. Pitching coach Dan Meyer returns to the staff for his second consecutive season in his second season overall as a professional coach, while hitting coach Ivan Cruz, is returning for his second campaign in his 20th year of professional baseball. In his fifth season in the organization, trainer Joe Luat, returns to for his third season at the D-Braves trainer.

The Gulf Coast League (Rookie) Braves will feature a new manager as Robinson Cancel takes the reigns in his first professional managerial role. Cancel, who has over 20-plus years of experience as a major and minor league player, appeared in 45 major league games over four different seasons from 1999 to 2011. He played 15 years in the minor leagues (1994-2011) and an additional three seasons in the Independent League and two seasons in the Mexican League, after being originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1994. The GCL Braves will return their pitching coach Willian Martinez who will serve his third season with the club. Rick Albert, who has been a staple in the organization since 1972, also returns to the GCL staff as their hitting coach for his second season. Julio Hernandez will serve as the trainer in his third year with the organization. In addition to his training duties, Hernandez will also serve as the medical operations assistant for the Braves minor league teams.

Dave Trembley will serve as the minor league field coordinator in addition to his director of player development duties, as previously announced. Trembley, who is returning to a familiar role as he held the same position with the Braves from 2011-12, recently completed his 30th season in professional baseball, which includes over 20 seasons as a minor league manager. Trembley most recently served on the Houston Astros coaching staff from 2013 to September 2014. He served as the Astros’ third base coach in 2013 and bench coach in 2014.

In addition, each of the roving instructors and coordinators will return to their respective posts for the 2015 season, including Joe Breeden who returns for his ninth season to the role of minor league catching instructor, while Luis Lopez will be in his fourth season as the minor league roving infield instructor. Rich Dubee will be in his second season as the minor league pitching coordinator, while Ronnie Ortegon will serve his second campaign as the minor league hitting coordinator and Bobby Mitchell will be in his second year as the minor league roving outfield/baserunning instructor.

Rick Slate will return to his respective position for the upcoming season as director of strength and conditioning. Chris Dayton will serve his first season as the assistant strength and conditioning coordinator. Dayton has been a member of the Braves organization since 2012 and most recently spent the 2014 season as the strength and conditioning coach for Mississippi.

Lee Elia, who has spent more than 50 years in professional baseball, returns as a Senior Advisor to Player Development for his fourth consecutive season. Additionally, Lebi Ochoa will serve his first season as a Senior Advisor to Player Development, as previously announced.

Jeff Pink will serve as the minor league equipment manager and will be based at the Braves player development complex in Orlando, Fla. Prior to joining the Braves, Pink spent the previous five years with the Toronto Blue Jays working as an assistant to the home clubhouse at their complex located in Dunedin, Fla., as well as their assistant equipment manager.


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