Houston Astros

Brad Ausmus not the answer for Houston Astros in their managerial search

The Houston Astros have tilted toward experience in their search for a new manager, and they’re going down the list to interview Brad Ausmus.

After firing AJ Hinch in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal, the Houston Astros have leaned toward previous experience in their search for a new manager. Now, according to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, Brad Ausmus is in Houston to interview for the job.

Ausmus spent 10 of his 18 seasons with the Astros, over two separate stints. He has five years of managerial experience, four with the Detroit Tigers (2014-2017) and last season for the Los Angeles Angels with a 72-90 record that led to him not being retained.

Ausmus did talk with the San Diego Padres about their manager opening, but he was not prominently mentioned as a candidate for any other jobs this offseason.

The Tigers won 90 games and the AL Central in Ausmus’ first season as manager. But over the following three years an aging and expensive roster got old and expensive at the same time, leading to a 224-260 record (.463 winning percentage) over that span and Ausmus’ firing after a 64-98 campaign in 2017.

There’s an argument that one season isn’t long enough to get anything going. But it was easy to see Ausmus not lasting long as Angels’ manager from the moment he was hired, and when Joe Maddon was in line to be available it became a no-brainer to fire Ausmus.

The Astros have interviewed experienced candidates Dusty Baker, Buck Showalter, John Gibbons and Jeff Banister, while also interviewing Joe Espada, Eduardo Perez and Will Venable on the other end the spectrum with no prior big league managing experience.

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Ausmus will now be added to that list of experienced managerial hands, which owner Jim Crane seems to be leaning toward as the team tries to move forward. Outside of whatever his history as a player for the franchise might be worth, it’s hard to see Ausmus as a particularly appealing candidate or the answer for the Astros.

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