September 29, 2014 / 11:54 PM / 3 years ago

Astros name Hinch as new manager of struggling club

(Reuters) - The Houston Astros have appointed A.J. Hinch as manager in place of Bo Porter, who was fired earlier this month, the Major League Baseball team said on Monday.

Arizona Diamondbacks manager AJ Hinch (L) argues with home plate umpire Mike Everitt about a call at home plate against the New York Mets in the third inning during their MLB National League baseball game in Phoenix August 12, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Scuteri

Hinch, 40, managed the Arizona Diamondbacks from May 2009 until July 2010, compiling an 89-123 record, and was then vice-president of professional scouting for the San Diego Padres for the next four years.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be the manager of the Houston Astros,” Hinch said in a statement. “We have a lot of work to do to bring winning back to the city of Houston and Astros fans everywhere. I can’t wait to get started toward that goal today.”

Hinch’s appointment was announced 28 days after Porter and bench coach Dave Trembley were both sacked, and Tom Lawless was brought in as interim manager.

The Astros ended the 2014 season with a 70-92 record, finishing fourth out of five teams in the American League West standings.

“Throughout our process, we searched for a person with previous Major League experience who could effectively lead our young, growing nucleus of talented players,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said.

“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 skill sets and leadership abilities will be enormous assets in our clubhouse.”

Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue

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