That didn't take long.
A week after shuffling the major league field staff, Houston has a new pitching coach. Brent Strom, formerly the St. Louis Cardinals minor league pitching coordinator, has been named pitching coach of the Houston Astros, according to Brian McTaggart.
#Astros have hired Brent Strom as pitching coach, according to baseball sources.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) October 7, 2013
Strom takes over for Doug Brocail, who was reassigned last week after two seasons on the job. Strom, a former major league pitcher for the Mets, the Indians and the Padres. It's Strom's second stint as Houston's pitching coach, as he was in the position in 1996 for just one season. He also served as major league pitching coach with Kansas City.
Interestingly enough, Strom is a proponent of long toss programs. Check out this essay by him over at WebBall.com. I'm sure his thoughts and philosophies on this stuff matter, just like they did for John Mallee as hitting coach.
You also can't argue with Strom's success as minor league pitching coordinator with the Cardinals. Just this season, the Cards produced a ton of talented rookies to help their pitching staff. Some, like Carlos Martinez and Shelby Miller, were known quantities, while others, like former Texas A&M star Michael Wacha, were pleasant surprises.
Considering how many of Houston's pitchers will be young guys or just out of the minors, this move makes sense. In fact, we almost could have called it, given how many St. Louis staffers Houston has hired in the past two seasons.
Any thoughts on the move? Is this a good get? Were you looking for more of a big name here?