UPDATE: Astros officially and formally name A.J. Hinch as their new manager.
Apparently the Astros were well along in their decision-making process when they interviewed internal candidates Tom Lawless, Pat Listach and Tony DeFrancesco on Saturday, continuing to piece together the puzzle for the future.
Word is spreading that the Astros will hire A.J. Hinch as manager later today. Hinch has previously served as manager — at any level — for the Diamondbacks in 2009-10 and has the worst record of any manager in that organization.
The 40-year-old Hinch played for several organizations as a catcher, which is often viewed as a solid proving ground for managers. Presently, former Astros’ catcher Brad Ausmus, Mike Matheny (St. Louis), Mike Scoiscia (Angels), Fredi Gonzalez (Braves) and Joe Girardi (Yankees) are former catchers now managing in the majors.
In case you may be wondering, Kirk Gibson was Hinch’s bench coach at Arizona and became manager upon Hinch’s firing. Gibson himself was fired over the weekend after nearly five years as manager.
Hinch is a Stanford graduate and likely is a fit with Luhnow personally and professionally, especially given the public friction between the GM and Bo Porter, who was relieved of his duties on September 1.
The next big question will be what Hinch does with the current coaching staff and which pieces he wants to bring in. Look for a mix of hold-overs and new faces. Big questions may be what happens to Lawless and DeFrancesco.