The Astros have a manager. Joe Espada is succeeding Dusty Baker as Manager of the Houston Astros. Espada will be the team's 20th manager in franchise history.
4 Reasons why Joe Espada was the right hire for the Astros
While he doesn't bring any experience as a manager, he does have a polished resume, serving as the Astros bench coach for six ALCS trips, three pennants and a World Series title under three GMs and two managers, as well as working as the third-base coach for both the Yankees and Marlins. Espada served as an assistant to Brian Cashman when the Yankees were actually a threat to Houston and successfully using analytics.
He's a bright mind that the Astros are fortunate to have after having interviewed with multiple other teams over the last few years. While there were questions about how hands on Jeff Bagwell would be and what old-school candidate would be hired, for once, the Astros made the seamless transition and didn't complicate what was simple. The right hire was made. Let's check out why.
#1 Espada gives the Astros continuity
The Astros have made seven straight trips to the ALCS, won four pennants, and two World Series since 2017. In what world would it make sense to fix what isn't broken?
Joe Espada has been on staff for six of those trips, three of the pennants, and one of the World Series rings. Going external to somebody that doesn't understand the sanctity of the clubhouse culture the Astros have refined would have been a huge risk.
It's not to say there aren't qualified candidates and good managers-in-waiting on teams other than Houston. But Houston is the only one with the track record they've built. It would be nonsensical to make sweeping changes.
Espada is beloved in the Astros clubhouse and has spent six seasons building rapport with the players. With a title window still wide open, continuing to build on the foundation was the right call.