Brewers: 5 coaches let go in first moves of offseason


The offseason began quickly for the Milwaukee Brewers, who on Monday announced they would not be retaining five members of the coaching staff manager Craig Counsell inherited in May when he replaced the fired Ron Roenicke.

Bench coach Jerry Narron, pitching coach Rick Kranitz and outfield instructor John Shelby are gone after spending five years in Milwaukee. Bullpen coach Lee Tunnell and first-base coach Mike Guerrero will also not be retained.

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The only staffers to survive the purge were third-base coach Ed Sedar, who returns for his 10th season on the coaching staff, and hitting coach Darnell Coles, who just completed his first season with the Brewers.

The changes came on the first day David Stearns took over the reins as general manager. He said he wants to bring “new voices, some new ideas and some new outlooks into the fold on the major league coaching staff,” according to

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Counsell said he will take his time to assemble a staff with his signature on it.

“I want to build a great coaching staff,” Counsell said. “There are several attributes in major league coaches that I value and we have to be cognizant of moving forward.

“I value great teachers. I value somebody who is able to challenge my ideas. I value somebody who is able to take some abstract information and allow the players to apply it on the field. I value somebody who is able to ‘finish’ a player in the big leagues. It’s not easy to get all those attributes, but that’s what we’re shooting for.”

Narron was a former manager for the Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds and has also been a coach for the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, the Reds and Rangers. He also played parts of eight seasons with the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners and California Angels from 1979-87.

Kranitz had the unenviable task of overseeing a pitching staff that went through a complete makeover on the fly. The Brewers were 11th in the National League in ERA (4.28) and 13th in starting pitcher ERA (4.79).

Feb 27, 2015; Maryvale, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron (36) poses during photo day at Maryvale Baseball Park . Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Kranitz pitched in the minors for the Brewers and Chicago Cubs organizations from 1979-85 and managed the Cubs’ Advanced-A affiliate in Daytona in 2003.

Tunnell got the axe even though the bullpen was a source of strength for Milwaukee.

He pitched parts of six seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Twins from 1982-89 and also spent three years pitching in Japan.

“I think we’re looking at it as a ‘pitching program,’” Counsell said. “When a new pitching coach is determined, we want to allow him to have some input into who the bullpen coach is.”

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  • Guerrero spent two seasons on the Brewers coaching staff and managed at every level in the Milwaukee organization from 2004-13, two years each at Rookie, Class A, Advanced-A, Double-A and Triple-A. He played nine seasons with the Brewers and Kansas City Royals organizations from 1987-95.

    Shelby played for the Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers for parts of 11 seasons from 1981-91 and was a minor-league manager in the Dodger organization from 1994-97 while also managing the independent Butte Copper Kings in the Pioneer League in 1993.

    Sedar was a player in the Chicago White Sox organization from 1981-88 and managed at the Rookie level for the Brewers for seven seasons between 1998-2006.

    Coles was a journeyman who played 14 seasons with the Mariners, Tigers, Pirates, San Francisco Giants, Reds, Toronto Blue Jays, Cardinals and Colorado Rockies from 1983-97 and spent parts of two seasons in Japan.

    He was a minor-league manager for the Washington Nationals from 2007-08 and managed for the Brewers’ Double-A club in 2012-13. He was the Tigers’ hitting coach in 2014.

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