Braves announce changes to their coaching staff

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Their front office is like that old The Far Side comic in which the crisis clinic is on fire and floating over a waterfall, but the Atlanta Braves at least have a coaching staff in place.

Brain Snitker remains in charge as manager, but he now has Walt Weiss, who replaces Terry Pendleton as bench coach. In another move, Eric Young Sr. replaces Eddie Perez as first base coach. Finally, Sal Fasano has also been hired as a catching coach. Based on the last org chart I saw, they didn’t have someone dedicated to that before, though former catcher Eddie Perez no doubt assisted in this regard.

The rest of the staff — Kevin Seitzer as hitting coach, Jose Castro as his assistant, Chuck Hernandez as pitching coach and Ron Washington as third base coach — returns.

Worth observing that Snitker stood a good chance of getting fired at the end of this past season but was saved, in part, because the players wanted him back. It’s safe to assume that Braves will have a short leash on him in 2018. Meanwhile, his coaching staff has two guys in Weiss and Washington with big league managing experience.

One of ’em might as well save some time and change his first name to “interim.”

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez left the Astros’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, rolled his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first inning.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter David Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.