Though Fredi Gonzalez indicated Thursday that no changes would be made to the Atlanta Braves' coaching staff, general manager Frank Wren decided otherwise when he relieved Larry Parrish of his duties.
The Braves' now former hitting coach was less than a year into the job, having replaced current first base coach Terry Pendleton.
"There were enough questions in our minds that we couldn't go forward toward 2012 with a good feeling that changes would be made," Wren said. "Changes need to be made. They need to be made with a number of our hitters and our overall offensive production."
Gonzalez had said that the club would retain all of its coaches, but after Wren met with Gonzalez and Parrish at Turner Field Friday afternoon, Wren decided it was time for a change after the Braves missed the playoffs after blowing an 8 1/2-game lead in September.
Parrish had previously spent the better part of 20 years as a minor league manager in the Detroit Tigers system, but it seemed there were communication issues with the former All-Star outfielder. The Braves also went from a National League best .339 on-base percentage in 2010 to .308 in 2011, good for 14th in the league.
"I just think the overall philosophy and the message did not get through to the players," Wren said. "The players have to take responsibility as well, because we've got guys who have played for a number of years and they know what they're doing. So it's not all on the hitting coach by any means."
Wren also said that the team will do a thorough search for the right candidate to lead an offense that hit .192 with runners in scoring position over the last 26 games.
"We're going to make an exhaustive search," Wren said. "There's no timetable. There's no rush. We want to make sure we get the right person that fits our organization and what our expectations are."Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Frank Wren, Fredi Gonzalez, Larry Parrish, MLB