After finishing 4th in the AL West, the Houston Astros have found a replacement as their team’s skipper in AJ Hinch, a former MLB catcher. Hinch also managed the Arizona Diamondbacks and served as VP of Scouting for the Padres.
Houston has had trouble finding any remote success in years, but they haven’t been a really competitive team since the killer Bs of the 2000s. While adding a guy like Hinch isn’t going to bring back Biggio, Bagwell and Berkman, the Astros are hoping Hinch will be the guy to turn things around.
It does seem like a bold hire to go with a guy who was fired after a little over a year of managing, especially when proven skippers like Dusty Baker are at home chewing their toothpicks. I guess a young manager makes sense for a team that isn’t expected to contend next year, but they’ve already tried going with a guy who had no experience, and that didn’t work out well for anyone.
While the Astros won’t be overtaking the Angles and A’s any time soon, they do have a solid foundation for Hinch to work with. Chris Carter is a budding slugger who was able to replicate his 2013 success this past season. Then he’ll have reigning AL batting champ Jose Altuve who hit a ridiculous .341. Throw in some top pitching prospects and a few guys in the majors with solid arms and things aren’t looking quite so dire in the Lone Star State.