What was announced on December 4 became official for Atlanta on Thursday. Rick Kranitz is now officially the Atlanta Braves new pitching coach.
Kranitz comes with a lengthy list of accolades and stops around the big leagues. The 60-year-old earned Baseball America’s Major League Coach of the Year award after mentoring the nearly all-rookie rotation to a record-setting performance, with four pitchers reaching the 10-win plateau. While those four rookies — Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Scott Olsen, and Anibal Sanchez — haven’t gone on to Hall of Fame careers, they all became household names, with Sanchez having a solid bounce back season with the Braves in 2018.
“Rick is a tremendous addition to our organization,” Alex Anthopoulos said. “His proven record of success, along with his work ethic and passion for the game, made him the perfect fit for us.”
Kranitz began his career with the Chicago Cubs, where he was a player and coach in the Appy League. He has also made stops in Milwaukee — where his 2012 rotation struck out 1,402 opposing hitters — as well as spending time in Baltimore and most recently Philadelphia. The strides made by Aaron Nola in his lone season with Kranitz are more than noteworthy as the 25-year-old finished third in Cy Young voting with a 2.37 ERA, 224 strikeouts and a 0.98 WHIP. Zach Eflin, Phillies 24-year-old righty, also made progress, seeing career-highs across the board, including strikeouts which has become a calling card of Kranitz’s.
“I’m thrilled to add Rick to our coaching staff,” Brian Snitker said. “Right from the start of the interview process, Rick stood out with his knowledge, credentials, and experience. He has had a lot of success developing young talent and he is going to have a big impact getting the most out of all of our pitchers.”
And perhaps that’s the biggest takeaway for the Braves. Kranitz has a proven track record with some of the games youngest and brightest arms. With plenty of young arms in a deep arsenal for the Braves, Kranitz seems to be a positive addition and good fit for the Braves in 2019.