June 22, 2021

Potential candidates to replace AJ Hinch as Astros manager (ESPN)

The Houston Astros‘ decision to fire manager AJ Hinch amid this week’s MLB sign-stealing punishments creates a managerial opening with just a month before spring training.

While the Astros’ current situation is complicated, with GM Jeff Luhnow’s firing leaving an undetermined front-office structure under owner Jim Crane, whomever Houston tabs as its next skipper will be inheriting one of the most talented rosters in baseball.

Here are some names who could fit as candidates in the Astros’ search for the next manager:

The in-house option

Joe Espada: The current Houston bench coach, Espada was a hot name in manager searches immediately after the season and interviewed for several vacancies, including the Cubs and Giants jobs.

While the 44-year-old did serve as Hinch’s bench coach the past two seasons, he did not join the franchise until after the 2017 season, so his name was not part of MLB’s sign-stealing findings.

The veteran skippers

Buck Showalter: An experienced manager might make the most sense for Houston in the wake of this scandal, and Showalter, 63, certainly fits that description. The three-time AL Manager of the Year has managed the New York Yankees, Arizona…

Read “Potential candidates to replace AJ Hinch as Astros manager” at ESPN