Braves name Brian Snitker as manager, announce 2017 Major League staff

Ron Washington and Chuck Hernandez to join coaching staff

ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves today named Brian Snitker as the club's manager for 2017, with a club option for 2018. Atlanta also named its coaching staff for next season, exercising 2017 contract options on bench coach Terry Pendleton, first base coach Eddie Perez, hitting coach Kevin Seitzer and assistant hitting coach Jose Castro. Bullpen coach Marty Reed will return for 2017, while Chuck Hernandez has been named as the pitching coach and Ron Washington has been named the third base coach. Former third base coach Bo Porter will become a Special Assistant to the General Manager.

Snitker, who turns 61 on October 17, was named the Braves' interim manager on May 17 and led Atlanta to a 59-65 record, including a 37-35 mark after the All-Star break and a 20-10 record in the last 30 games. The 2017 season will mark Snitker's 41st as a member of the Braves organization.

"Brian earned this opportunity through his dedication to the Braves and to our players," said Braves general manager John Coppolella. "We are excited for the energy and momentum he will bring into SunTrust Park next season."

Snitker joined the organization as a player in 1977 and has served in a variety of roles ever since. He opened the 2016 campaign as the manager at Triple-A Gwinnett, his 20th season as a minor-league skipper (all with the Braves). Snitker has managed at Triple-A Gwinnett (2014-16) and Richmond (2006), Double-A Mississippi (2005) and Greenville (2002-04), High-A Myrtle Beach (1999-2001), Single-A Macon (1992, 1997-98), Durham (1987 and 1983-84), Sumter (1986) and Anderson (1982) and Rookie Level Danville (1996).

In his 20 seasons as a minor league manager, he compiled an overall record of 1,301-1,309 (.498). Five of his clubs advanced to postseason play, and he won two league championships (back-to-back titles with Myrtle Beach in 1999-2000). He won two league Manager of the Year Awards, both in the Carolina League in 1999 and 2000. 

Snitker spent seven seasons as the Major League club's third base coach, from 2007 to 2013. He also had two stints with the Major League staff as the bullpen coach in 1985 and from 1988 to 1990. He served as a coach in the Atlanta farm system, working with Danville in 1993 and 1994 and Durham in 1995. 

He began his coaching career as a roving instructor for the Braves in 1981 and took his first managerial job in 1982 with Anderson of the South Atlantic League. The former catcher played four seasons (1977-80) in the minors before retiring at the conclusion of the 1980 season. Born in Decatur, Ill., Snitker played college baseball at the University of New Orleans.

Hernandez, 55, just completed his first season in the Braves organization as the minor league pitching coordinator. It marked his 31st season in a coaching capacity. He joined the organization after spending the previous three seasons (2013-15) as the Major League pitching coach with the Miami Marlins, where he guided the staff to its two best single-season ERA finishes in franchise history in 2013 (3.71) and 2014 (3.78).

"Chuck brings a tremendous amount of experience to this role," said Copplolella. "He spent the 2016 season working closely with many of our young, talented pitchers who will be such an important part of our future."

Hernandez returned to the Major League coaching ranks in 2013 after spending two seasons (2011-12) as an assistant coach at the University of South Florida. He served as pitching coach for the GCL Phillies in the 2010 season and helped guide the club to a 3.44 team ERA and a GCL Championship. He spent the 2009 campaign as bullpen coach for the Cleveland Indians under then-skipper Eric Wedge.

From 2006-08, Hernandez served as pitching coach for the Detroit Tigers, a role that saw him handle a staff that included AL Rookie of the Year Justin Verlander in 2006. In his first season with the Tigers in 2006, Hernandez helped the pitching staff compile a 3.84 ERA as the club won the AL pennant before losing in the World Series to St. Louis, four games-to-one.

He was on the staff of the Tampa Bay Rays for nine seasons, holding the position of Major League pitching coach in 2004 and 2005, and serving as a coach in the Rays' minor league system from 1997 to 2003.

Hernandez began his minor league coaching career in 1985 with the Gulf Coast White Sox and then spent 11 seasons (1986-96) as a Major and Minor League coach with the California Angels, serving time with Single-A Palm Springs (1986), Double-A Midland (1987), and Triple-A Edmonton (1988-90). He served as a roving instructor in 1991 and joined the Major League staff in 1992, remaining with the club through 1996. Hernandez was first named as a Major League pitching coach at the age of 31.

Hernandez was drafted by the Oakland A's in the 28th round of the 1978 June free agent draft but did not sign. The following season, he was selected in the first round (25th overall) by the New York Yankees out of Hillsborough Community College (Fla.). His playing career ended in 1983 after five seasons.

Washington, 64, spent the last two seasons on the coaching staff of the Oakland Athletics after managing the Texas Rangers from 2007 to 2014. He joined the Athletics on May 21, 2015 and became the third base coach in August of that same season.

"Ron's background and success as a Major League manager will be an asset to everyone on the club," Coppolella said. "His tireless work ethic, up-beat attitude and tremendously high baseball IQ will benefit our players and our staff."

Washington led the Rangers to a pair of American League pennants in 2010 and 2011 after being hired on November 6, 2006. The Rangers finished first or second in the AL West for six consecutive seasons under Washington from 2008 to 2013, while also capturing the AL Wild Card in 2012. The team won 90 games in four straight seasons, including 96 in 2011. Washington compiled a 664-611 (.521) career record over eight seasons with the club, becoming the winningest manager in Rangers and Senators history. He resigned on September 5, 2014.

Washington began his MLB coaching career in 1996, serving as Oakland's first base coach. He became the third base coach the following season and remained there until leaving to manage Texas in 2006. He worked closely with the A's infielders, and Oakland led the league in fielding percentage in both 2004 and 2005, while finishing second in 2006.

The former infielder spent all or parts of 10 seasons in the major leagues with Los Angeles (NL), Minnesota, Baltimore, Cleveland and Houston, compiling a .261 (414-for-564) career average in 564 games. He made his MLB debut in 1977 with Los Angeles, appearing in 10 games and hitting .368 (7-for-19). He returned to the big leagues in 1981 with Minnesota and played in 452 games over six seasons with the Twins. He joined the Orioles for 26 games in 1987 and Cleveland for 69 games in 1988. After appearing in seven games for Houston in 1989, Washington finished his playing career in 1990 for Texas' Triple-A club in Oklahoma City.

Washington began his professional coaching career in 1991 with the Mets' Triple-A club, the Tidewater Tides. He got his first managerial job in 1993, leading New York's Single-A Columbia team in the South Atlantic League for two seasons. In 1995, he returned to Triple-A as a coach with the Mets' team at Norfolk.

A native of New Orleans, Washington attended Manatee Junior College before signing with the Kansas City Royals as an amateur free agent in 1970.

Coppolella also made the following statement regarding Bo Porter's transition: "As a former player, coach and manager, Bo will add a unique perspective to our baseball operations staff. He has a bright future and this new experience will make him even more well-rounded."

The 2017 season will mark the 16th campaign for bench coach Terry Pendleton, the 11th for first base coach Eddie Perez, the third for hitting coach Kevin Seitzer and assistant hitting coach Jose Castro, both of whom joined the Braves staff in 2015, and the second for bullpen coach Marty Reed, who joined the staff with Snitker in May 2016.