Last week, the Houston Astros began interviewing for their manager position. Here's what we learned last week:
The current Houston area resident was the first name dropped last week. He's currently the third base coach of the Washington Nationals and has also coached for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins at the Major League level. Before reaching the majors Porter coached in the Miami Marlins Minor League system. Before that he hit .214/.284/.333 in 142 plate appearances for the Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers.
I've heard Porter described as a fiery guy and that's kind of highlighted here. You'll have to excuse the homerism of the Cub announcers.
For more on Bo Porter checkout SB Nation's Washington Nationals blog Federal Baseball
The next interviewee on the list is Dave Martinez, current bench coach of the Tampa Bay Rays. He was hired by the Rays back in 2008, coincidentally the first year they made the playoffs in franchise history. Prior to coaching Martinez spent 16 years in the Major Leagues playing with nine different clubs. In 6480 plate appearances he hit .276/.341/.389 while playing close to average defense, according to Baseball References defensive WAR.
Coaching under Joe Maddon, one of the best managers in the league, makes him an interesting candidate for the Astros manager position, however, I'm a bit hesitant about giving him extra credit for that. We've seen this already with the Astros hiring Brad Mills, who was the bench coach under Terry Francona another very good manager. As fair or unfair as that it is, it still give me pause.
This is an interesting one, not because Bowa's an interesting candidate, but because he was in town to "Exchange baseball ideas" with Jeff Luhnow and the Astros and seemingly not to interview for the managers position. On the podcast Sunday night we discussed whether or not he was actually interview for the open managers position and I was informed that it came out after the "Exchange baseball ideas" quote that he did indeed interview. I have yet to read or hear anything that confirms that, so do with that what you will. If someone has a link I'll be sure to update this post.
The current MLB Network Studio Analyst, Bowa, has prior experience coaching the San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies. Prior to his coaching career he played 16 years in the Major Leagues with the Phillies, Chicago Cubs and New York Mets. In 9109 plate appearances he compiled a .264/.301/.324 line primarily at shortstop. While his offense was nothing to write home about his 18.6 defensive WAR is.
Bowa has the reputation as a fiery guy, both as a player and as the manager. Recently, on MLB Network, he talked about embracing a more analytically approach to his analysis. I'd place him as a dark horse candidate at this point, but with Jeff Luhnow making the decision that probably makes him the lead candidate.
Larry Bowa's interview for the Astros' managerial vacancy is a good sign, as rival executives have worried that GM Jeff Luhnow is surrounding himself with too many like-minded sabermetric types rather than building a diverse baseball operations department.
The Oklahoma City Redhawks skipper has had a rough go of it to start his interm stint as the Astros manager, but since rosters have expanded he's guided the team to an 8-7 record. How much of this should really be credited to him is up for debate, either way it's certainly better than what the team was doing prior to him taking the helm. Maybe the headphones are working.
Prior to him taking over as the Astros manager he was the Astros AAA manager in Oklahoma City. Prior to that he spent 16 years coaching in the Athletics Minor League system. In 2008 he got the big league call-up to coach third base for the Athletics. The next year he returned to the Minor Leagues to coach the Athletics AAA club. As a player he never made it to the Major Leagues, but instead spent nine seasons playing in the Boston Red Sox and the Cincinnati Reds farm system.
Tim Bogar: According to Boston.com, the former Astros infielder current Red Sox bench coach, is on the list of potential interviewees. Bogar previously interviewed for the Astros manager position prior to 2010 season.
Brad Ausmus: We've heard some rumors that he may be in the mix for the Astros managerial, but I wonder how much his commitment to the Israeli baseball team for the World Baseball Classic is going to affect his candidacy for the position. He currently serves as a special assistant for the San Diego Padres.