The process to find AJ Hinch’s replacement as the Astros manager is underway. Buck Showalter was interviewed yesterday and John Gibbons is on tap for today.
Owner Jim Crane is wasting no time to begin the hunt for Houston’s next manager to take the helm and lead the Astros in 2020. With less than a month remaining before Spring Training starts, there really is no time to waste. Just two days after the firing of Hinch, it was reported that Buck Showalter was the first to sit down for an interview yesterday and John Gibbons is scheduled for today.
In Jim Crane’s news conference on Monday announcing that Jeff Luhnow and Hinch were let go, he indicated that he would most likely look externally for their replacements. It was thought that current bench coach Joe Espada would serve as the interim manager, but if the selection process moves along quickly, that may not be necessary. Although, Espada has been mentioned as one of the candidates for the job.
Showalter has an extensive managing career on his resume with 20 years under his belt steering the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers, and Orioles. The 63-year-old has earned the Manager of the Year Award three times with three separate teams. Showalter also has five years of postseason experience to bring to the table and a lifetime record of 1551-1517.
John Gibbons spent a total of 11 years as the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays during two different time spans, from 2004-08 and 2013-18. The Texas native took the Blue Jays to the American League Championship Series in back to back seasons in 2015-16. His career record sits at 792-789 and was nominated for Manager of the Year twice.
Both Showalter and Gibbons were not managing in 2019, but with a team as stacked with talent as the Astros, almost anyone could be swayed to get back into the career. Other candidates said to be considered are Bruce Bochy, Raul Ibanez, Jeff Banister, and Dusty Baker. With the Red Sox also in need of a manager and possibly the Mets, it would be wise to move fast and snatch up the best man for the job before someone else does.