The Astros are said to have a long list of managerial candidates to take the job vacated by the recent firing of Brad Mills, one general manager Jeff Luhnow will pare significantly before choosing the team's new fulltime manager after the season.
Enough names to fill a lineup are being speculated as candidates by people with ties to the Astros, and with the exception of Jim Riggleman, who's managed four teams in the majors, most of the names have no major-league experience. That shouldn't be a surprise as the Astros are believed to want to mold someone in their new style. Luhnow told Tyler Kepner they'd like someone who pays close attention to the stats in making decisions, which may generally fit a younger, new-style guy.
Riggleman like several of the candidates has ties to the Cardinals, where Luhnow was an executive before being hired in Houston, but Riggleman is separated by his vast experience. Riggleman, currently managing the Reds' Double-A Pensacola (Fla.) club, managed the Cubs, Padres, Nationals and Mariners (Seattle was on an interim basis).
Other names who have been speculated as possible candidates for the Astros job include Sandy Alomar Jr., Marlins coach Joey Cora, Cardinals coaches Chris Maloney and Jose Oquendo, Rangers coach Mike Maddux, Red Sox coach Tim Bogar, White Sox coach Joe McEwing and Astros coach Joe Pettini.
Riggleman, who helped get the Nats going, would be a nice choice for a young team. Several others on the list make sense, as well.
Cora is one of the most-respected coaches in the majors, and shouldn't lose point for being Ozie Guillen's righthand man. McEwing has a winning personality. Alomar should have a major-league managing job. Bogar, a former Astro, was well-respected in the Red Sox organization but hasn't seemed anxious to gel with Bobby Valentine. Maddux started his coaching career in Houston.
The Triple-A Oklahoma manager Tony DeFrancesco was named as the interim manager, and he could be a candidate though he would seem to be a long shot for the fulltime job.