The Braves added plenty of major league experience to their staff Friday, hiring former Baltimore manager Dave Trembley as minor league fielder coordinator and former manager Lee Elia and veteran scout Bob Johnson as special assistants to general manager Frank Wren.
Trembley, 59, managed the Orioles from 2007 until being fired in June. He was a longtime minor league manager before that, and was selected as one of the top five minor league managers of the past 20 years by Baseball America in December 2001.
“We whittled down a list of guys who would be the type to not only teach our players, but teach our teachers,” Wren said. “Dave’s full of baseball knowledge, and he has so much passion for the game and teaching the right way to play the game.”
Trembley faced new Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez many times when both were minor-league managers, and Gonzalez gave him a high recommendation.
“This role, what it does is help solidify the link between majors and minors from a teaching standpoint and consistency standpoint,” Wren said of Trembley’s position. “He’ll go around to all teams and oversee instruction.”
Trembley replaces Tommy Shields, who’ll switch to coordinator of minor league infield instruction.
Elia, 73, has spent more than 50 years in baseball and been a major league player, coach, manager and front-office man. He will serve as an instructor at the major league and minor league levels.
“When you have a guy with his kind of baseball knowledge, he makes you better in so many ways,” Wren said. “His knowledge will be invaluable. He’s passionate about hitting. He and Larry [Parrish, new Braves hitting coach] are very much compatible. Larry said he’s had a number of real good conversations with Lee about hitting.”
Johnson, 63, has been a pro scout for 35 years, working extensively in both leagues. He spent the past four seasons with the New York Mets, after 10 years as an advance scout with Oakland and Texas.
“One of the most highly respected advance scouts in the game,” Wren said.