ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves named Roger McDowell their
pitching coach on Saturday, replacing Leo Mazzone.
McDowell, who pitched for 12 years in the major leagues, was
pitching coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate at
Las Vegas the past two seasons.
Mazzone left the Braves after more than 15 years as pitching
coach to take a lucrative, three-year deal with the Baltimore
Orioles. During his tenure, Atlanta won 14 straight division titles
and traditionally ranked among the top staffs in the National
"We are absolutely thrilled to add Roger to our staff," Braves
manager Bobby Cox said. "Roger was a great competitor as a player
-- he started, he relieved and he even fought through arm problems,
so he comes in a with great level of experience that our pitchers
will learn from."
McDowell pitched in 723 games -- mostly as a reliever -- during a
career that included stints with the Mets and Dodgers, along with
the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. He
had a 70-70 record with 159 saves and a 3.30 ERA.
In 1986, McDowell was a member of New York's World
Series-winning team. He went 14-9 with 22 saves in 75 games.
McDowell was pitching coach for the Class-A South Georgia Waves
in 2002 and '03.
"He is one of the true up-and-coming teachers of the game,"
Cox said. "He has a great knowledge of pitching, and the reviews
and evaluations we had on him were tremendous."
McDowell will certainly be under more scrutiny than most
pitching coaches. Mazzone became one of the most respected
instructors in the game and a well-known personality in Atlanta,
instantly recognized for his constant rocking in the dugout.
During Mazzone's tenure, the Braves had six Cy Young Award
winners and nine 20-game winners.
"I have such strong respect for Bobby Cox and [Braves general
manager] John Schuerholz," McDowell said. "They have built a very
highly regarded organization and one that I am proud to represent.
This is a very exciting time for my family, and I'm looking forward
to meeting the challenges and expectations that are synonymous with
Atlanta Braves baseball."