Finalizing staff top job for Luhnow, Porter

Astros manager Bo Porter, who has officially taken control of the club following the elimination of the Nationals from the playoffs on Friday night, was at Minute Maid Park on Monday for a meeting with general manager Jeff Luhnow.

The top priority for Porter and Luhnow is finalizing the Major League coaching staff, something Luhnow said they would like have done in the next 10-14 days.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Luhnow said.

The Astros’ current coaching staff consists of bench coach Joe Pettini, hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo, pitching coach Doug Brocail, third-base coach Dave Clark, first-base coach Dan Radison and bullpen coach Craig Bjornson. Van Burkleo and Radison took over in August when manager Brad Mills, hitting coach Mike Barnett and first-base coach Bobby Meacham were let go.

Pettini, who came to the Astros after 10 years as the Cardinals bench coach, and Brocail both said last month they would like to return next  year, but their fate remains up in the air. Tony DeFrancesco, who served as interim manager for the final 41 games, could also return to the field staff in some capacity.

“It was fun with this young club,” Pettini said last month. “It wasn’t so much fun losing so many as we have, but it’s always fun working with younger guys and seeing guys develop. Some guys turn into everyday players and some guys might not make it or stay here. That’s the growing pains in the organization.

“Yeah, I would [like to stay]. I’m 57 years old and have 11 years as a coach at the big league level and a few as a player, and I’m not quite ready to retire yet. I’d like to do it a few more years.”

Brocail, 45, put in a full season as pitching coach in 2012 after taking over midway through the 2011 seasons when Brad Arnsberg was let go.

“Of course, I’d love to be back,” he said last month. “I love this job, but we have a lot of work to do. I’d like to see it through. I don’t know what their thoughts are. Nobody’s talked about it, but if they want to sit down and talk, I’d love to be back. We all know we have a ton of work to do, we all know there’s a plan in place, and that plan needs to be followed to a T, and I hope I’m the guy and they have confidence in me.”

Porter, 40, spent the previous two seasons as third-base coach for the Nationals and is inheriting an Astros team that has lost 213 games in the past two seasons. Luhnow said Porter will meet with the media at Minute Maid Park on Thursday.

5 Comments

Brocail can’t really be coming back, can he?

I was a high school teammate and close friend of Bo Porter at Weequahic HS in Newark, NJ and I am confident that no one is going to outwork Bo as a manager. I have just become an Astros Fan!!!

I’m looking forward to seeing the coaching staff finalized and ready to see what they can do with the young team that they are inheriting.

How about bringing back Jose Cruz as 1st base coach, and how about bringing in Cesar Cedeno. I think they need to bring back Arnsberg, and hire a veteran hitting instructor.

Brain, great followup on the new development of Porter taking the position as manager, yes, he has a lot of decision to make about the coaches, but I think he would do well to keep Brocail because of his experence with the pitching staff, and the bullpen personal, but the spring training will be here before we know it, so he will want these in place to see what direction the team will go !!! Ralph A.

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