With the Phillies in hot pursuit, the Braves reached agreement Saturday on a new contract with pitching instructor Roger McDowell, the only member of the coaching staff signed past 2014.
And that includes Fredi.
It’s difficult for an outside observer to judge coaches, but McDowell is regarded as one of the league’s best. The team’s ERA has decreased in five consecutive seasons, and young hurlers like Med Dog, Minor and Teheran have all shown steady improvement under his watch.
Brian McCann called McDowell “the smartest baseball guy I’ve been around” while Medlen, upon hearing today’s news, said, “I think I speak for our entire pitching staff in saying that we are ecstatic that our organization has brought back the man behind our staff’s success the past few years.”
One can’t help but wonder whether McDowell would be the leading in-house candidate if the Braves decide not to retain Fredi, who at the moment enters 2014 as a lame duck.