Houston Astros’ Manager A.J. Hinch Will Remain at Helm Through 2018
Houston Astros fans can sleep a little easier tonight knowing the leader of Club Astros will be around through at least the 2018 season. No, not Club Astros DJ George Springer, but the guy who decided not to have a stick up his rear like the traditional baseball manager and let the guys have fun playing baseball. The man who let Springer turn a simple celebration of a win into something that has invited all of Houston back to liking the Astros. We are all part of Club Astros, even though we never get the invite.
According to Evan Drellich, A.J. Hinch, who led a Cinderella 2015 Astros team to two outs away from advancing to the ALCS, worked out an extended deal this offseason to remain with the Houston Astros through at least 2018 season. The Astros achievements were not bad for a first-year manager for his new team. Hinch was able to develop relationships with his players from the very moment that he was hired to be the Astros skipper.
Hinch reached out to all the Astros stars from 2014 in Dallas Keuchel, Springer, and Jose Altuve after he was hired, even the bench players and key minor leaguers. Hinch learned from his earlier stint as the Arizona Diamondback interim manager that communication is the key, and you have to let the players be who they are as long as they are playing well. This attitude is what he brought to the Astros, and he brought back a winning attitude that was missing from the Astros for the past decade.
Hinch’s reputation has increased with his success with the Astros as he finished second to Jeff Bannister in the AL Manager of the Year Award in 2015. While there were not any legs to the story, it was discussed by the talking heads that Hinch would be a good fit with the Los Angeles Dodgers who were seeking a manager for a team that under-achieved last year.
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It’s good to know that Hinch will be around for a while, yes the Astros are loaded with talent, but he is the glue to the success of the Astros. He has a way of being funny while being serious at the same time. Talking to some of the players who played under Hinch, they have nothing but great things to say about him. The key to this year will be how the Astros handle being the favorite in most matchups this year, versus the underdogs they thrived as last season.
Thanks, Jeff Luhnow for letting this one out of the bag because I know you don’t like to discuss contracts, but the fans needed to know that our fearless leader would still be around for a while. Is he perfect? He may have mishandled the bullpen a little in the playoffs and may not have played Matt Duffy enough, but he is what this team needs to click.