SEATTLE (AP) — Former Kansas City manager Trey Hillman will be the bench coach for new Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch.

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on October 18th, 2014
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Long-time Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts officially called it a career on Friday. Roberts, who just recently turned 37, was released by the depth-starved New York Yankees in August. He signed during the offseason after New York lost Robinson Cano to free agency and Alex Rodrirguez to suspension, but never got on track hitting just .237 in 91 games. He elected to sit out the remainder of the season despite receiving at least two contract offers, and has now decided he’s ready to step away for good. From the Baltimore Sun: He [Roberts] said two “very good teams” were interested in signing him in August, but he decided against it. As the year went on, he said it became clear that he could no longer play at the level he demanded. “It was just kind of my time. There were numerous reasons that I felt like I couldn’t play at a level that I was accustomed to and wanted to play at if I continued to play,” Roberts said. “I always said that I wasn’t going to be the guy that tried to hang on as long as I could.” Roberts was drafted by the Orioles as a supplemental first round pick in 1999. He quickly worked through the minor league system, debuting in the big leagues on June 14, 2001, but wouldn’t become a true regular until May of 2003. Once established, he became a fan favorite in Baltimore and a fixture at both second base and the leadoff spot in the batting order.

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on October 18th, 2014
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Jeff Banister will be named manager of the Texas Rangers, multiple outlets report Thursday, beating out interim manager Tim Bogar, along with several outside candidates. This would be Banister’s first managerial job in the majors, though he has lots of minor-league experience as a skipper (along with just about every other staff position). Banister (one “N”) is what they call “a lifer.” He has been the bench coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates since 2010, which pre-dates manager Clint Hurdle, and has been a coach with the Bucs, in the majors and minors, since 1993. He played from 1986-93 in the minors for all but one plate appearance in the big leagues. Banister, 49, has interviewed for other major league manager’s positions, notably with the Houston Astros this offseason, and with the Pirates, before they hired Hurdle for the 2011 season. What makes Banister the choice for the Rangers? Those most familiar with him say it’s not only his baseball smarts, but also his communication skills. Banister also is said to be a proponent of sabermetrics, though more major league coaches probably are than we realize. Pirates blogger Pat Lackey writes at Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke? : Ever since Ben Lindbergh published this story at Grantland about the unique and effective way that the Pirates’ front office and coaching staff communicate, I’ve been expecting Pirate coaches to start being poached by other clubs. Banister is always mentioned as being involved with the infield positioning alongside Hurdle and he’s the guy mentioned as being on the phone with Mike Fitzgerald (the stats guy the Pirates have travel with the team) in Lindbergh’s article, and so it makes sense that any front office that’s had trouble communicating with their coaching staff would be immediately attracted to someone from the Pirates’ coaching staff. It wasn’t a surprise when he almost got Houston’s job a few weeks ago, and it’s not a surprise at all that Texas wants him, especially given that Texas was Clint Hurdle’s last stop before Pittsburgh. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported the hiring first, though the Rangers had yet to confirm it. Banister tweeted this Wednesday morning: “The only thing that stands between you and your dream is the will to try and the belief that it is actually possible.” – Joel Brown — Jeff Banister (@Bannyrooster28) October 15, 2014   Banister’s one appearance as a player in the big leagues came in July 1991, when he pinch-hit for Doug Drabek. Banister hit an infield single and played two innings of a 12-3 victory against the Braves, but was sent back to the minors shortly thereafter. Banister has been deserving of a chance, and also seems to be one of the better candidates out there who’s never managed. Seems like a good hire by general manager Jon Daniels. But — what about Bogar? He was Ron Washington’s bench coach until Washington stepped down. Like Banister, Bogar is a lifer, though he had more time in the majors. From the Dallas Morning News : It is uncertain what will happen with Bogar, who was the Rangers bench coach before Ron Washington’s resignation on Sept. 5. Bogar went 14-8 in the three weeks until the season’s end, but the Rangers said they would conduct a thorough search for the new manager. Bogar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.   More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports:    – - – - – - – David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter! Follow @AnswerDave  

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on October 16th, 2014
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays expect to keep rolling without Andrew Friedman.

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on October 15th, 2014
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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on October 14th, 2014
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HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros’ improvement this year from baseball’s worst team cost a Houston furniture mogul Jim McIngvale more than $4 million to make good on a promise to fans.

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on October 13th, 2014
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HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros have declined a $3 million team option for right-hander reliever Matt Albers.

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on October 11th, 2014
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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have hired John Mallee as their hitting coach after Bill Mueller resigned this week.

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on October 10th, 2014
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Houston Astros’ interim manager Tom Lawless got his first taste of National League ball from the managerial side on Friday night in New York. Lawless spent six of his eight seasons as a player in the NL, but obviously there’s a big difference between facing live pitching and planning strategy two or three batters ahead. Overall, Lawless’ night went pretty well. Houston defeated the Mets 3-1 to reach 70 wins for the first time since 2010 . However, there was one noticeable bump in the road as Lawless attempted to pull off his first-ever double switch. It started out innocently enough. With two outs in the fifth inning, Lawless went to home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt to inform him that reliever Kevin Chapman would be replacing starting pitcher Brad Peacock, and that Gregorio Petit would be taking over at shortstop for Jonathan Villar while moving into Peacocks’ No. 9 spot in the order. That is the proper method for initiating a double-switch, and once the proper information was dispersed, Petit ran out to take his position. The only problem, rather than next going to the mound to inform his pitcher of the change, Lawless casually strolled back to the dugout. That left Peacock standing awkwardly on the mound, while Chapman was forced to assume that he’d been summoned without Lawless making the official gesture. It wasn’t exactly a smooth impression to leave on Astros’ management. After all, Lawless is a candidate to take over the full-time managerial gig. However, he would right his wrong. After realizing his error, Lawless jogged out to take the ball from Peacock and send him on his way properly. 

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on October 9th, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Mets manager Terry Collins mentioned before Saturday night’s game that his burly first baseman may be growing a bit fatigued.

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on October 8th, 2014
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