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Give Hinch Manager of the Month Award

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If there were a Monthly Managerial Award, Hinch would have won by a landslide in August.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

There are weekly and monthly honors handed out to players over the course of a season, but the managers have to wait until the end of the season before they get league-wide recognition. However, A. J. Hinch deserves an award for the job he did as manager of the Astros during August.

From late July and all throughout August, the Astros roster was almost constantly in flux. The big news of August was Ken Giles replacing Will Harris as the closer, the team finally deciding to give up on the Carlos Gomez project, and Yulieski Gurriel making his American baseball debut, but were you paying enough attention to notice all the other moves going on throughout the month?

There were times when multiple guys were day-to-day, leaving Hinch with one bench player who could run but not hit and another bench player who could hit but not run. Players went on the DL, came up from Triple-A, came off the DL, made their MLB debuts, got designated for assignment, went on paternity leave, were sent back to Triple-A, and had season-ending surgery.

While most of us could barely keep track of who was actually on the 25-man roster on any given day, A.J. Hinch had to craft a lineup good enough to win on a nightly basis with a constantly changing bank of players. He had to know exactly who was in the bullpen and when best to use them while guys were going on and off paternity leave and nursing injured ankles.

Well, A.J. Hinch did all this and he did it pretty well in my opinion, steering the Astros to a 16-13 record in the month of August. Recall that when the calendar turned from July to August, Alex Bregman had only 1 hit in his first 6 MLB games, Carlos Gomez was day-to-day with a hamstring injury, Luis Valbuena was on the 15-day DL, and Marwin Gonzalez was also day-to-day. Then this happened:

8/1/2016 Joe Musgrove called up from Fresno
8/2/2016 A.J. Reed recalled from Fresno
8/2/2016 Carlos Gomez back in the lineup after missing 4 games with injury
8/2/2016 Ken Giles is named the closer
8/2/2016 Joe Musgrove makes his MLB debut
8/2/2016 Lance McCullers pulled from start with elbow injury
8/2/2016 Luke Gregerson placed on 15-day DL, retroactive to 7/28
8/2/2016 James Hoyt called up from Fresno
8/3/2016 Brad Peacock is recalled from Fresno
8/3/2016 McCullers is placed on 15-day DL
8/3/2016 James Hoyt makes his MLB debut
8/4/2016 Marwin Gonzalez returns to the lineup after dealing with soreness in right hand
8/6/2016 Brad Peacock optioned to Fresno
8/7/2016 Carlos Gomez not in the lineup due to illness
8/7/2016 Colby Rasmus placed on 15-day DL
8/7/2016 Joe Musgrove makes his 1st MLB start
8/7/2016 MarGo is away from the Astros, dealing with an issue at home
8/7/2016 Tony Kemp is recalled from Fresno
8/7/2016 Tyler White is dealing with a knee injury
8/9/2016 Luis Valbuena ran outside and resumed hitting
8/10/2016 Carlos Gomez is designated for assignment
8/10/2016 Jandel Gustave is called up from Fresno
8/11/2016 Kevin Chapman recalled for double-header against Twins, then optioned after game
8/12/2016 Ken Giles placed on paternity leave
8/12/2016 Luke Gregerson activated from the DL
8/12/2016 Preston Tucker placed on the 15-day DL with strained right shoulder
8/12/2016 Teoscar Hernandez called up from Fresno
8/14/2016 MarGo departed the game after being HBP in the left knee
8/15/2016 Jandel Gustave optioned to Fresno
8/15/2016 Ken Giles activated from paternity leave
8/17/2016 MarGo returned to lineup from knee injury
8/18/2016 Ankle injury leaves Luke Gregerson day-to-day
8/19/2016 Brad Peacock recalled from Fresno
8/19/2016 Luis Valbuena suffered a setback while running
8/19/2016 James Hoyt optioned to Fresno
8/20/2016 Tyler White optioned to Fresno
8/21/2016 Yulieski Gurriel recalled from Fresno, makes MLB debut, leaves game with tightness in hamstring
8/23/2016 Announced that Valbuena will undergo season-ending surgery
8/25/2016 Successful surgery to repair Valbuena's right hamstring
8/26/2016 Gurriel back in the lineup after hamstring soreness
8/28/2016 McCullers played catch with no discomfort
8/29/2016 Gregerson expected to be available
8/30/2016 Peacock optioned to Fresno
8/30/2016 Rasmus activated from 15-day DL
8/31/2016 Marwin Gonzalez left game due to right hamstring discomfort

Despite roster changes and injury updates almost every day throughout August, A.J. Hinch was still able to put together a winning lineup and help rookies contribute to a playoff contender.

The fact that the Astros, guided by Hinch, could make it through an ever-changing month like August with a winning record is one of the big reasons I still believe that they are playoff-bound in 2016.