Sports Editor

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The Florida Fire Frogs’ third season in Kissimmee doesn’t open for nearly another three months, but the Atlanta Braves, the team’s parent club, has put the coaching staff in place for the 2019 season.

Fire Frogs Mgr Barrett Kleinknecht


Barrett Kleinknecht, the manager of the Gulf Coast League Braves in 2017 and the short-season Danville Braves of the Appalachian League in 2018, will be the skipper, taking over for last year’s manager Luis Salazar.

Kleinknecht, 30, played in the Braves organization from 2010-15, ultimately reaching Class AAA Gwinnett. He and his wife recently became parents to twins.

Dan Meyer, who had a six-year major league career (2004-10) with the Braves, Oakland Athletics and Florida Marlins, comes from the Rome Braves of the South Atlantic League to become the pitching coach. Meyer, 37, replaces Mike Maroth, another former major-leaguer who got a promotion himself and will be the pitching coach for the Gwinnett Stripers.

Doug DeVore, 41, who appeared in 50 games with Arizona in 2004, will make his coaching debut as the club's hitting coach. Coach Porky Lopez reprises his role on the bench and trainer Dave Comeau will work his third consecutive season with the Fire Frogs.

Florida’s 2019 home opener is Saturday, April 6, against the Daytona Tortugas. A project to replace the stadium turf and drainage system is well on its way to being completed in time for Opening Day, team president Erik Anderson said this week.

The season will begin in Daytona at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on April 4.

Among this season’s promotions will be 50-year anniversary tributes to the moon landing and Woodstock, the 30-year anniversary of the release of the movie Field of Dreams, a Turn Back the Clock Night to spotlight 1999, post-game movies after every Saturday night game and Hispanic celebrations on Friday nights, when the team will be called the Coquis, named after a frog found in Puerto Rico.