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Astros clean the broadcast slate: Alan Ashby not returning

Houston fans may have two new voices in the broadcast booth this coming season.

Houston Astros Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Houston Astros will be making another change in the television broadcast booth this offseason after the retirement of fan-favorite Bill Brown. Houston Chronicle’s David Barron is reporting that Brown’s partner for the past seasons, Alan Ashby, will be replaced as well.

Ashby, 65, was informed by Astros business operations president Reid Ryan that he would not be returning next season earlier this month.

Barron spoke with Ashby:

"I am not going to be back (for 2016)," Ashby said. "I am greatly hurt, but that's the way things go. It didn't catch me off guard, but when it happens, it hurts a lot."

Ryan said of the move:

"(Brown's) retirement gave us a chance to do a deep-dive look at the broadcast team," Ryan said. "Alan had a dual role in a three-man team, and we decided we wanted to go with a traditional play by play and color announcer scenario. We are committed to finding high-caliber talent who can provide us with the best broadcasts we can put out there.

"I want to thank Alan for his four seasons with us on the TV broadcasts and his longstanding loyalty to the Astros over the years."

Ashby returned to the Astros broadcast team after Jim Deshaies departed for the Chicago Cubs.

Ashby was the color commentator with Brown but the play-by-play broadcaster on the road with Geoff Blum. Could this move mean that the team is going forward with Blum as the full-time color man?

The question is who will be the play-by-play broadcaster? Robert Ford? Brett Dolan? Dark horse, Julia Morales?