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GreenJackets announce 2021 field staff

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The Augusta GreenJackets' Mikey Edie looks to connect in his squad's 2-1 playoff loss Sept. 4 against the Lexington Legends, who went on to end the Jackets' 2019 season two days later in Kentucky, by a 4-2 score. 

The Augusta GreenJackets, Single-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, in conjunction with their parent club, are excited to announce the inaugural field staff for the 2021 season at SRP Park. Michael Saunders will take the helm as manager in his first season with the GreenJackets.

Joining Saunders in North Augusta are Mike Bard as hitting coach, Elvin Nina as pitching coach, Myles Schroder as a coach, Austin Smith as the athletic trainer and Kyle Lindsey as the strength coach.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the GreenJackets to the Braves minor league system, stated Ben Sestanovich, assistant general manager of the Atlanta Braves. “Their state of the art facility will be a tremendous addition to our development program. We are looking forward to a great 2021 season.”

Michael Saunders brings nine years of experience in Major League Baseball, having spent time with the Seattle Mariners (2009-2014), Toronto Blue Jays (2015-2016), and Philadelphia Phillies (2017). Saunders’ career batting average was .232 in 2,400 plate appearances. He was a 2016 All-Star during his time in Toronto. In 2020, Saunders was slated to be manager of the Danville Braves.

“I know I can speak on behalf of everybody when I say how excited we all are to have baseball back in 2021,” said Michael Saunders, the GreenJackets' manager. “We couldn’t be happier to have it be with the city of North Augusta and at SRP Park. The journey to Atlanta goes through here.”

Mike Bard leads the offense as hitting coach. In 2020, he was selected as the Rome Braves' hitting coach but now brings his years of experience to North Augusta. Bard has over a decade of NCAA Division I coaching experience at top schools, including the University of Kansas and Texas Tech University. He was the assistant hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies in 2007.

Pitching coach Elvin Nina was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 1997. He spent seven years at the AAA level. Nina began his coaching career in 2009 with the Helena Brewers (2009-2013), Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (2014), and the GCL Pirates (2015-2017). In 2019, he became the pitching coach for the GCL Pirates. 

"We are excited to welcome Michael and the staff to North Augusta to kick start the new era of GreenJackets Baseball,” stated Tom Denlinger Augusta GreenJackets Vice President. "The energy that Michael and his staff have for the return of GreenJackets Baseball to SRP Park is contagious and we cannot wait for Opening Night!”

The GreenJackets 2021 Game Schedule is out and available online at www.GreenJacketsBaseball.com. The full promotional schedule, including post-game fireworks shows, giveaways and theme programs, will be released by the GreenJackets in the future. 2021 Augusta GreenJackets season seat memberships are on sale now. To learn more about the benefits and to get in on the 2021 action, visit www.gjmembers.comor call 803-349-9467.

The Low-A East schedule is subject to change.

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