Off to one of the word starts in franchise history, and holding the MLB’s worst record, the Atlanta Braves fired manager Fredi Gonzales. The Braves dropped to an MLB-worst 9-28 after an 8-5 defeat to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night. The Braves haven’t won consecutive games over a 5-19 span during which they’ve averaged 2.7 runs and hit eight home runs, a quarter of which came Monday. There are four players in the MLB who have hit more home runs than the Braves.
Brian Snitker, manager of Atlanta’s Triple-A team will replace Gonzales as interim manager. Snitker will manage the team until the end of the season at least. If he impresses he could possibly get the managerial job. He doesn’t inherit a team of great quality, though. Gonzalez, 52, managed the Marlins from 2007-10 and was named manager in Atlanta in 2011 after Hall of Famer Bobby Cox retired.
He had coached third base for the Braves for four years before getting the Marlins job. Gonzalez’s best managerial season came in 2013 when the Braves won 96 games, but they lost 3-1 to the Dodgers in the NL division series. He was 434-413 as Braves manager and 710-692 as a major league manager.
Gonzales is the first manager to be fired this season, Braves general manager John Coppolella and president of baseball operations John Hart has committed to a rebuilding process over the past several years. Trading away veterans like Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Craig Kimbrel and promising youngsters Andrelton Simmons and Shelby Miller.
The plan is to secure young, controllable talent before the team moves into SunTrust Park next season. The firing of Gonzales is likely part of this rebuild as the Braves will search for a new manager after this season, and on the other side Gonzales is sure to be seeking a job.