On the day the Astros are interview interim manager Tom Lawless and third base coach Pat Listach, there is report of a new name throwing his hat into the ring. The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that the Astros have interviewed Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister twice already for the opening at manager.
Banister lives in Houston and attended the University of Houston before being drafted by the Pirates in the 25th round of the 1986 draft.
The choice of Banister is interesting because the 'communication' breakdown between the front office and former manager Bo Porter. The Pirates were able to successfully integrate the use of analytics into the field of play, as reported by Grantland's Ben Lindbergh -
Fitzgerald provides one specific example of a Pirates philosophy that was born out of collaboration between coaches and analysts: their belief in the benefits of pitching inside. "That's a good example of one of the things that we did not have as an idea coming in," Fitzgerald says. "And that's a thing that [Hurdle] and [Banister] and probably many other guys had brought up, of, ‘Hey, listen, can we prove this? Because we think it's true and we have a pretty decent idea of a handful of guys who [are susceptible to it]. Is there a way to go through and identify other guys who may be susceptible to it as well?'"
It's a deceptively complicated question, but Fitzgerald says that he and Fox were able to provide statistical support for the coaches' hunch.
The article talks about the fact a member of the Pirates front office is in coaches meetings and travels with the team to help with analytical gameplan for the team. It's this type of smooth communication the Astros looking, and a prime reason Houston is talking to Banister.