McDowell signed through 2015, one year longer than Fredi

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.


9 thoughts on “McDowell signed through 2015, one year longer than Fredi

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  1. I’ve been pretty critical of McDowell here but I’ve seen a number of comments like those from players whose judgment I take seriously, so I’m willing to consider the possibility that I’ve undersold him.

    Wallace took the O’s job, so losing Roger would’ve forced us to hire two new guys in important spots, which would’ve been potentially disruptive to what’s become a pretty smooth operation here. I would’ve been fine with letting McDowell go if Dave was in place to take his spot but since that didn’t happen, this seems like the best course of action.

    And the contract disparity between him and FG is, as you note, very interesting.

    And promising.

  2. i’m a big McDowell fan. Different style than Mazzone, but seems to get more out of guys on the margin than Leo did. McDowell seems to be able to coach guys with different approaches and that always seemed to be a problem for Leo.

  3. Do pitching coaches make good managers? George Bamberger comes to mind, but I am drawing a blank past him.

  4. Not many examples — Bud Black in San Diego, and of course Farrell in Boston, who made one of the worst managerial decisions in WS history and got away it (batting a middle reliever in the 8th inning of a tie game w/ Mike Napoli on the bench).

  5. Add Fred Hutchinson and Ray Miller as pitchers who managed. Miller never made it to the majors but was an excellent pitching coach.

  6. The douchebag La Sorda was a former pitcher, but I’m not sure whether he was ever a pitching coach.

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