Braves add Schaefer, Francisco, and Shields

The Braves have added former Royals' Interim Manager Bob Schaefer to the organization. Rene Francisco re-joins the organization after three years with the Dodgers, and Tom Shields joins the club as a member of the minor league staff. Bill Shanks has the details.

The Atlanta Braves have named Bob Schaefer as a Special Assistant to General Manager John Schuerholz.

Schaefer just finished his fourth season as the Kansas City Royals' bench coach. He was the team's manager for two weeks after they fired Tony Pena and before Buddy Bell was brought in as Pena's replacement. The Royals went 5-12 in the 17 games Schaefer managed. He also managed one game in 1991 when the team was between permanent skippers.

The 61-year-old Schaefer was a shortstop in the Cardinals' system from 1966-1968. He started his coaching career in the Phillies' system in 1973. Schaefer joined the Yankees' organization in 1980 and was a minor league manager, winning two league titles in the South Atlantic League in 1980 and 1981. He then joined the Mets in 1982 and managed in their system for five years, winning the Tidewater Tides to the International League title in 1985.

Schaefer then joined the Royals in 1987 as the manager of the AA Memphis franchise. A year later he got his first big league experience when he became Kansas City's first base coach. Schaefer held that position for three seasons before becoming the bench coach in 1992.

In 1992 Schaefer was the Royals Special Assignment Scout. He left for Boston the next year for the same position, and then in 1994 Schaefer started a five year stint as the Red Sox' Director of Player Development. Then in 1999 Schaefer joined the Orioles, where he was a Special Assistant for three seasons before re-joining the Royals as the bench coach in 2002.

The club also announced the Rene Francisco has re-joined the organization as the Director of International Scouting. Francisco has spent the last three seasons with the Dodgers in the same capacity. Before that, Francisco was with the Braves for ten years, last serving as the Coordinator of Latin Scouting. Rene Francisco is a major hire for the Braves, as he has a great reputation in the international scouting community.

Tom Shields joins the Braves as the new Assistant Field Coordinator. Shields has spent the last six years with the St. Louis Cardinals as an Area Scouting Supervisor and Infield Instructor.

And last but not least congratulations to J.J. Picollo, who was promoted from Assistant Director of Player Development to Director of Minor League Operations. Picollo has been with the Braves since 1999. He was an Area Scouting Supervisor for five years and was responsible for scouting and signing Bubba Nelson, Aaron Herr, Kevin Barry, and Dan Meyer.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team. Bill can be reached at

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