The Houston Astros have announced that they have hired A.J. Hinch to become their next manager.
Hinch, 40, was the Diamondbacks manager from 2009 to 2010. At the time of his naming, the 34-year-old (357 days) Hinch was the youngest manager to accept a managing position since Eric Wedge (34 years, 275 days). He was fired the next season, in 2010, after starting the season 31-48. His overall 89-123 record in 212 games. His .420 winning percentage ranks second lowest in Diamondbacks history.
He has a lot of experience within the managerial side of baseball. Prior to the 2005 season, he was hired as the Diamondbacks manager of minor league operations. In July 2006, Baseball America named him as one of the "10 to watch" in the next 10 years to become a farm director or general manager. In August 2006, the Diamondbacks named him their director of player development.
On September 21, 2010, he was hired by the San Diego Padres to become their vice president of professional scouting. He resigned from his position on August 5, 2014. His experience within the front office makes him a great choice to become the Astros' next manager. He'll fit in well with Jeff Luhnow and the rest of the Sabermetric oriented front office.
Luhnow prepared this statement, offering praise for Hinch:
"I am extremely excited to bring in A.J. as our new manager. Throughout our process, we searched for a person with previous Major League experience, who could effectively lead our young, growing nucleus of talented players. I have no doubt that A.J. is the right person to do that. He brings experience as a Major League player, Major League manager and player development executive. His skillsets and leadership abilities will be enormous assets in our clubhouse and to our entire organization."
The Astros made changes to their coaching staff earlier this month, firing ex-manager Bo Porter, while naming Tom Lawless interim manager. Hinch will now be handed the task of trying to bring the Astros back to contention into the future.