Lots of reports starting to filter in about the Astros managerial search. On Wednesday, the Orange County Register talked with Mike Scioscia before the Angels' game with the Rangers that two new names were on the Astros managerial search list, bench coach Dino Ebel and Rangers first base coach Bengie Molina.
Molina is a former Scioscia player and is in his second season as a coach. Molina retired in 2010 and worked as a Cardinals assistant hitting coach in 2013. Ebel, meanwhile, fits the non-ironclad requirements Astros GM Jeff Luhnow laid down for the position. The 48-year-old has been a bench coach with the Angels, was a third base coach before that and has been with the big league team since 2005-06. He also has a history as a minor league manager.
"He's been extremely successful at the minor league level, which is a litmus test to see how a guy handles and relates to players, along with the strategy," Scioscia said of Ebel. "Dino has always been an incredible teacher. He has a great passion, a great understanding of the game. He's great with people. There is no doubt he's someday going to be a trerrific manager."
As Evan Drellich notes, Jeff Luhnow did not comment on the report. It appears the team will not be as open with the hiring process as they were in 2009 and that this search may resemble the one in 2011.
Still, it's unclear whether this is more about these candidates actually being up for the job of if Scioscia is just pushing his guys to the top of the list. We have very little information filtering out of the Astros side, so most of what's out there are rumors perpetuated by sources, not coming from the team.
Before this report, we learned that A.J. Hinch might be a candidate, given his background as a manager and an executive. Mike Maddux's name has obviously been thrown around quite a bit, but Maddux falls into the same camp as Molina, not really fitting the criteria Luhnow laid out.
Of course, Luhnow is not beholden to that list. If they like Maddux or Molina, they could get the job easily.
I'm just waiting for someone to ask Ron Wotus about the job. Anyone in San Francisco up for the job? In the meantime, we'll bring you any more unsubstantiated rumors as they happen.