On Thursday, the Houston Astros got a jump on the other 29 Major League Baseball clubs by announcing their minor league coaching assignments for 2016.
With success comes greater continuity. In its press release, the organization boasts of 45 staffers returning from 2015.
As you might expect, the reason I am commenting here is the number of former St. Louis Cardinals coaches who remain in Houston’s system – six of the 45 returnees, including several key leaders. They do not include the Astros major league pitching coach Brent Strom, who was St. Louis’ minor league pitching coordinator immediately prior.
Two other ex-Cardinals are Houston’s minor league hitting and pitching coordinators, Jeff Albert and Doug White. Albert will be in his third year in the role, but White is being promoted from roving pitching instructor for 2016.
Interestingly, White replaces another former Cardinal, Dyar Miller, who is being shifted to pitching coach for Houston’s Triple-A club in Fresno. Before moving to the Astros, Miller was released as St. Louis’ bullpen coach. Prior to that, he was the long-time pitching coach at Memphis.
Dan Radison returns as Houston’s Double-A Corpus Christi hitting coach. St. Louis’ former minor league hitting coordinator had been on the major league staff of Jim Riggleman (another former Cardinal) in Washington after leaving the Cardinals.
Ace Adams is being moved down to pitching coach for Tri-City in the New York-Penn League. In his first season in Houston’s system, the former Palm Beach (and other Cardinals affiliates, including Batavia of the NYPL) pitching coach was at Triple-A, where he is now being replaced by Miller.
Two other ex-Cardinals were fired by Houston last month, starting with 2014 Astros interim manager Tom Lawless (pictured above), who took over for the final month after Bo Porter was fired and then moved to infield coach at Corpus Christi this season. Minor league catching instructor Jeff Murphy, a former St. Louis bullpen catcher, was also let go.
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