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Astros manager search: Team looking for "major league experience"

GM Jeff Luhnow says Astros looking at someone with significant experience in MLB.

David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

No names have emerged in the Astros nascent managerial search, but we do have a clearer picture of what the team will be looking for in its next skipper.

Jeff Luhnow spoke on the radio before Tuesday's game and told Matt Thomas that the Astros would be looking for someone with "major league experience as a manager or significant time as a bench coach in the majors." Luhnow said that it wouldn't rule out candidates with extensive minor league history, but that they preferred someone with experience.

Luhnow also added that he wanted someone with championship experience or coming from a championship organization. The GM told basically the same thing to Evan Drellich in a story posted Tuesday at the Chronicle.

Shortly after Bo Porter was fired, owner Jim Crane mentioned that the Astros would be looking for someone with more experience in its next managerial choice. That appears to be the case. Whether that would be Luhnow's preference or was an order from on high remains to be seen.

Drellich also updates the timetable, which Luhnow says could stretch into the offseason.

By the criteria Luhnow sets out, it seems that Mike Maddux, Rangers pitching coach, would be eliminated from consideration. Most of the talk around Maddux has come from Dallas media covering the Rangers, who assume that the Maddux-Nolan Ryan connection make him a good fit in Houston.

If former managers and bench coaches will be the primary candidates, look for Chip Hale of the A's, Torey Lovullo of the Red Sox, former manager Manny Acta and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez to be top candidates. It also does not appear by these criteria that Craig Biggio will be seriously considered for the job.

Of those candidates, none fit the criteria perfectly. Acta has the most major league experience, but has not really been in championship organizations. Martinez has extensive history as a bench coach for a winning team, but no championships there, either. Ditto for Hale. Lovullo has a ring from last season with Boston, but has only been a bench coach in the majors for two seasons.

As mentioned on the podcast Sunday, the frontrunners appear to be Acta and Martinez, but as with everything involving this team, assumptions usually get dispelled quickly.

One possible dark horse to add to the list could be Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, who has a successful minor league record as a manager, has extensive experience as a major league bench coach, handles the Giants defense and has a pair of championships on his resume.

What do you think? Does this information change your list of possible candidates? Do you think anyone would be crossed off here that has been mentioned previously?