Braves announce 2006 minor league staffs

The Braves have announced their minor league coaching staffs for the 2006 season. Brian Snitker will manage in Triple-A for the first time in his career, while former Brave Jeff Blauser will lead the Double-A affiliate. Randy Ingle and Rocket Wheeler will switch jobs in Single-A. Bill Shanks has the details.

The Atlanta Braves have announced their minor league coaching staffs for the 2006 season.

Brian Snitker will be the manager of the Richmond Braves next season. Snitker has managed in AA for the Braves for the last four seasons. He will be in his 17th season as a minor league manager in the Braves system. 'Snit' has an overall record of 1083 wins and 1059 losses. Snitker has managed at every level of the minor leagues.

Derek Bothelo will be the Richmond pitching coach in 2006. Bothelo has been in organization for four seasons, last year in Danville. He spent two years as the Gulf Coast League pitching coach from 2003-2004. Bothelo came to the Braves after spending twelve years as a pitching coach in the Reds‘ system. Bothelo pitched in the big leagues with the Royals in 1982 and the Cubs in 1985.

Rick Albert will return to Richmond for his fourth straight season as a coach. Albert has been in the Braves' system as a player, coach, or manager since 1972. Jay Williams returns to Richmond for his fourth season as the trainer, his twelfth in the organization.

Former Braves‘ shortstop Jeff Blauser will manage the Mississippi Braves in 2006. Blauser has been a roving fielding instructor in the system for the last few seasons. He came up with the Braves in 1987 and spent parts of ten seasons as the starting shortstop before joining the Cubs in 1998.

Kent Willis remains in Mississippi as the pitching coach. Willis did a remarkable job last season helping Blaine Boyer, Macay McBride, and Joey Devine make that final jump to the big leagues. Willis has been a coach in the Braves' system since 1996. He coached in Low-A for several seasons, helping many of the Braves' young prospects adjust to their first full season in the minor leagues.

Phil Wellman will be back in Mississippi as Blauser‘s coach. Wellman will be in his third straight and seventh year overall as a coach in the Braves‘ system. He‘s also been a manager in the Reds‘ system. Mike Graus will also return to Double-A next season. Graus will be in his 14th season with the Braves as a trainer.

The Myrtle Beach coaching staff will have a new manager next season, as Rocket Wheeler will make the jump up from the Rome Braves. Wheeler spent the last three seasons as the manager in Low-A, compiling a 215-190 record. He led Rome to the Sally League title in his first season in the Braves' system in 2003. Before joining the Braves, Wheeler spent 26 years in the Toronto Blue Jays organization as a player, coach, and manager.

Highly respected Bruce Dal Canton will be back for his eighth season of coaching the Pelicans' pitchers. A former knuckleball pitcher with the Royals, Pirates, White Sox, and Braves, Dal Canton first joined the Braves' organization as a coach in 1982. He spent three and a half seasons as the Atlanta pitching coach from 1987 through the middle of the 1990 season. Dal Canton returned to coach in the Braves' farm system and has been there ever since making a tremendous impact on the young pitching prospects.

Franklin Stubbs will once again be the Pelicans‘ hitting coach. Stubbs led the Myrtle Beach hitters last season after roving in the Braves‘ system since 1999 as an instructor. Ricky Alcantara will join the Pelicans as the trainer after spending last year in the Gulf Coast League in the same position.

Randy Ingle will swap places with Rocket Wheeler and manage the Rome Braves next season. 2006 will be Ingle's 15th season as a manager in the Braves' system. He has an overall record of 842 wins and 883 losses.

Jim Czajkowski remains in Rome as the pitching coach for the second straight season. Czajkowski spent three seasons as Danville‘s pitching coach from 2002-2004. He pitched five games in the big leagues for the Colorado Rockies in 1994.

Bobby Moore will start his tenth season as a coach in the Braves' system in 2006. Moore has been at the Low-A level for six seasons. Greg Hall, who served as a part-time trainer with the Gulf Coast League Braves will be the trainer in Rome next season.

Former Atlanta infielder Paul Runge will be back for his second straight season as the Danville Braves‘ manager. Runge has managed in the Atlanta system for ten years. He played for the Braves from 1981 through 1988.

Longtime big league pitcher Doug Henry will be the Danville pitching coach next season. Henry spent last year as an assistant to Bruce Dal Canton in Myrtle Beach. Henry was in the big leagues for parts of eleven seasons, with the Brewers, Mets, Giants, Astros, and Royals. He had an overall record of 34-42 in 582 big league games with 82 career saves.

Mel Robers will be back in Danville as the coach. Roberts has been with the Braves since 1996. Chas Miller will be Danville‘s new trainer. He comes to the organization from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The GCL staff remains the same as Luis Ortiz will be back as the skipper. Ortiz led the 2005 GCL squad to a 24-28 record. Ortiz has been with the Braves since December of 2002. Derrick Lewis is back as pitching coach, while former major leaguer Sixto Lescano and longtime Braves‘ coach Jim Saul will be the coaches. Drew Van Dam moves from being the trainer at Myrtle Beach to a new position as the Braves‘ Minor Leauge Training Coordinator of Florida Operations.

Mike Alvarez, who was the pitching coach in Richmond last season, will be a roving pitching coach in 2006.

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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