Thompson in running to be Astros hitting coach
Milt Thompson, who spent more than five seasons as the hitting coach of the Phillies before being let go in July, has interviewed for the Astros’ hitting coach position that became vacant when his former teammate, Jeff Bagwell, decided not to return.
Astros general manager Ed Wade said Wednesday that Thompson, who was in Houston on Monday to meet with Wade and manager Brad Mills, was one of a handful of candidates the team has interviewed either in person or by phone. Wade confirmed Thompson interviewed, but stopped short of naming any other candidates.
“He’s one of several people we’ve talked to over the last three days,” Wade said. “We hope to get to a point of making a decision by the end of next week or the early part of next week.”
Thompson, 51, played for the Astros in 1994-95 as part of a 13-year career in which he had 1,029 hits with six different clubs, all in the NL. He hit .313 with six RBIs in the 1993 World Series and set a Phillies record with five RBIs in Game 4 against Toronto.
He took over as hitting coach in 2005 and helped the Phillies finish second in the NL in scoring in 2005, first in 2006 and 2007, second in 2008 and first again in 2009. This year, the Phillies were second in the NL in runs scored behind Cincinnati, but Thompson was let go following a rough stretch offensively in the middle of the season.
Thompson has also interviewed as hitting coach with Seattle.
The Astros relieved hitting coach Sean Berry of his duties at the All-Star break and gave the job to Bagwell, the franchise’s all-time leader in homers and RBIs. The team improved offensively in the second half, and Bagwell was offered a two-year contract to return. But he told the Astros last month the commitment to the job would take him away from his family too much.