The Astros have added four new faces to the organization. Zachary Levine reports that Joe Pettini will replace Al Pedrique as bench coach and Jeff Luhnow has hired three new special assistants. Pedrique resigned when told he was being reassigned to bullpen coach to replace Jamie Quirk. Pettini is another ex-Cardinal and spent the last ten seasons as Tony La Russa’s bench coach. Luhnow gives Pettini a lot of credit for helping the Cards to three World Series appearances during his tenure in St. Louis, saying he “has a really deep understanding of all the elements of the game… the way he runs Spring Training, the way he organizes all of the fundamentals.”
Mike Elias, another of Luhnow’s former co-workers, was hired as a special assistant to the G.M. in the area of scouting. Alex informed us this morning that the Astros had been given permission to interview Elias. It didn’t take long for the Astros to get their man.
Two more special assistants were hired, and amazingly enough, neither is from St. Louis. I guess Luhnow must have already taken everyone worth hiring. Dan Radison has been brought on staff as a special assistant in player development. Radison has over 30 years of baseball experience and will spend time working on the field with minor league position players.
Former Cubs coach Matt Sinatro rounds out the list of today’s new hires. Sinatro spent his entire coaching career working for Lou Piniella and took a position in the Cubs front office when Sweet Lou abruptly retired in 2010. Sinatro held the position of bullpen coach in Seattle and Tampa, and was also a first base coach in Chicago. Sinatro will serve in a dual role, acting as both advance scouting coordinator and catcher’s coach.
Bobby Heck can rest easy (at least for now.) The three new staff members enter into newly created positions. With all of these additions I’m starting to see why player payroll needs to be reduced. The front office is rapidly expanding, that can’t be cheap. Scouting and decision sciences are all the rave in the new regime. Let’s just hope it works.