Brent Strom will not be returning as the Houston Astros‘ pitching coach for the 2022 season. Just like manager Dusty Baker, the organization picked up Strom’s club option in July of 2020 for the 2021 season.
Now, the two are essentially free agents, although Baker is planning to return to the Astros for at least two more seasons. But for Strom, this is where the road ends as the club’s pitching coach, while Bob Nightingale reported that Strom is set to retire.
The 73-year-old has a lot to his name with a five-year playing career and also being the second player ever to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Strom has since been beloved by Astros fans for the essence of the “Strom effect,” where the coach seems to revamp pitchers’ careers. Examples include Charlie Morton, Collin McHugh, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, etc.
Strom started his coaching career with the Astros in 1996, but that was short lived, while he only spent one year with the club. It wasn’t until 2000 that he would find a new job with the Kansas City Royals, where he stayed for only two seasons.
Strom embarked on his second season with Houston in 2014, when then general manager Jeff Luhnow asked him to return to coaching.
After Game 6 of the World Series, Strom told reporters he won’t be returning as the Astros’ pitching coach next season, but he did offer two names that could take on his position.
Brent Strom offers two in-house names to become Astros pitching coach.
Strom recommends pitching assistants, Josh Miller and Bill Murphy, as names that could succeed him as the Astros’ pitching coach. Both coaches have worked with Strom for a short time, Miller since 2019 and Murphy for just the 2021 season.
Miller was a scout, coach and coordinator for Houston, before taking on the role as a bullpen coach in 2019. Murphy had spent his five previous seasons as a pitching coach and coordinator in the minor-league system, where he helped develop Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier and Brandon Bielak.
Murphy’s 2021 position was the assistant pitching coach, which was new to the organization. In 2020, Murphy was at the alternate training site and at instructional camp working with Astros’ pitchers. This new position could have been a passing of the torch, as Strom’s return wasn’t of anticipation.
Astros’ Coordinator of Bilingual Media Andrew Dunn-Bauman, who works a lot with the Latin-born pitchers, took to Twitter to thank Strom for what he did with the ball club.
"“One of the most genuine, hard-working people I have ever met,” Dunn-Bauman said. “This man treated each pitcher on his staff as if they were his only son. Grateful for the time I was able to spend with him.”"