Well it’s official. Beloved pitching coach Brent Strom is headed to the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to Ken Rosenthal’s report.
Recently Strom announced that he was leaving the Houston Astros, most analysts thought he would either retire or head to another club with a promotion from pitching coach. That’s why we were all surprised this morning when news broke of Strom’s new destination.
Here are four thoughts on why Brent Strom is taking the pitching coach role with the Diamondbacks.
When thinking about the move, I cannot help but bring up the fact that Arizona is a bottom feeder in the league, finishing 52-110 this year. Why would Strom want to go from an American League Pennant winner to a 110 loss team? Well, there are a few theories that can be looked at.
Brent Strom’s Relationship with Dusty Baker
If you took one look at Twitter this morning, there’s some speculation that Strom left due to tension between him and manager Dusty Baker. When I first heard the news, I thought this theory had some validity.
However, Rosenthal tweeted a quote from Strom that seems to disprove this theory.
“Me leaving the Astros had nothing to do with any disagreements or anything like that,” Strom said. “Just a gut feeling on my part that eight years was long enough. It’s really in good shape with the people they have now.”
Strom has lived in Tucson over the past 30 years. The drive from Tucson to Chase Field is about a two-hour drive so its probably a much more comfortable feel for Strom. Arizona also has their spring training in Scottsdale, which is under a two hour drive as well.
Looking at both of these theories, I think I can see why Strom made this move. In my opinion, he probably thinks Bill Murphy is ready to take over the pitching coach job for the Astros, and he didn’t want to hold him up.
Strom also took over the position for the Astros in 2014, when the team was in a similar situation to the current Diamondbacks. The move also puts him closer to home. When combining these three ideas, it looks like the right move in Strom’s eyes.
When we look back at Strom’s tenure as the Astros’ pitching coach, he should be remembered as one of the greats. From helping Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander win Cy Young awards to turning an above average Gerrit Cole into one of the best pitchers in baseball, the man has done it all. Strom leaves Houston with a ring on his finger and a whole lot to be proud of.