Astros History

Players You Forgot Were Astros: Manager Scott Servais

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 01: Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais claps his hands from the dugout before the game against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field on August 1, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 01: Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais claps his hands from the dugout before the game against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field on August 1, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /
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In this installment of the Players You Forgot Were Astros series, we look at the career of Scott Servais.

At this point, most baseball fans know Scott Servais as the current manager of the Seattle Mariners. In his playing career, he played catcher for four different teams over 11 seasons. In six of those, he donned a Houston Astros uniform.

Servais actually played in Houston in two separate stints. He was the team’s third round draft pick in 1988, taken one spot after pitcher Darren Oliver, who was the subject of another one of our Players You Forgot Were Astros posts.

He made his debut in 1991 and remained with the club as a backup/part time catcher until 1995. In that time, he appeared in 284 games and hit .223 with 21 homers. He was worth 0.4 WAR combined, with his defense being more highly regarded than his offense.

The Trade

On June 28, 1995, the Astros traded Servais and outfielder Luis Gonzalez to the Cubs in exchange for catcher Rick Wilkins. Wilkins had popped 30 homers with a .303 average in 1993 but had slumped since then, so the club was clearly hoping for a return to form.

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That never materialized, however, as Wilkins merely proved that 1993 was a fluke. He hit .218/.339/.333 in 99 games over two seasons with the Astros before being traded to the Giants in 1996. Gonzalez would return to Houston for one season in 1997 before breaking out into an All-Star in 1999 with the Diamondbacks.

Servais hit .256/.319/.389 in 416 games across four seasons with the Cubs. He later played for the Giants and Rockies before returning to Houston as a free agent prior to the 2001 season. He appeared in only 11 games, hitting .375/.444/.375 in 18 plate appearances, though he did hit .338 in 44 games at Triple-A that year.

Servais spent all of 2002 in the minors between the Rockies and Giants organizations before calling it a career. He proceeded to work in various front office roles, including as an assistant GM with the Angels, before being named manager of the Mariners prior to the 2016 season. He’s 321-327 in his four seasons in the dugout.

Being in the AL West, the Astros see Servais around 19 times per season now (though that may not quite be the case this year). It was more than 30 years ago that the club viewed him as a well-regarded young catching prospect and saw him rise through the minors to make his major league debut.

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