Braves dismiss longtime pitching coach Roger McDowell

Publish date:

ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Braves have dismissed pitching coach Roger McDowell.

The team announced Friday it had declined the 2017 option on McDowell's contract, ending his stay with the organization after 11 seasons.

The Braves have not made a decision on who will manage the team next season or the status of the remaining coaches on staff. Team president John Hart said this week that the coaching staff won't be determined until a manager is hired, but team decided to go ahead and cut ties with the 55-year-old McDowell.

Atlanta ranked no lower than fourth in the NL in ERA during seven of McDowell's seasons, and led the league in 2013. But after deciding to rebuild, the Braves ranked 13th in 2015 and 11th this past season with a 4.51 ERA.

McDowell, who pitched in the big leagues for a dozen seasons, most notably with the New York Mets, joined the Braves in 2006 after Leo Mazzone left to become pitching coach of the Baltimore Orioles.

McDowell remained on staff after manager Bobby Cox retired in 2010 and was replaced by Fredi Gonzalez.

''Roger is a terrific coach and an even better person,'' general manager John Coppolella said. ''We wish him and his family nothing but the best in the future.''

Gonzalez was fired early this season, with Brian Snitker taking over as the interim manager. The Braves finished strongly, winning 50 of their last 97 games, but still finished last in the NL East. The starting pitching was a major issue and failed to produce anyone with double-figure wins.

Snitker is one of the candidates for the managing job, and the team also planned to interview former big league managers Bud Black and Ron Washington this week.