It has been a long time coming for Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada.
He has long been viewed as a future manager, someone with a bright future in the coaching ranks. Espada had interviewed with six different teams over the past two offseasons, yet had been bypassed every time. It’s difficult to be a part of the future when one cannot even be part of the present.
Houston Astros perfect landing spot for Joe Espada
That time has come for Espada. Jim Bowden of The Athletic is amongst the multitude that reported that the Astros will hire Espada as their new manager, taking over for Dusty Baker. As Espada has been the Astros’ bench coach since 2018, having served under Baker and A.J. Hinch, he provides a great deal of continuity.
While this is Espada’s first major league managerial job, he does have plenty of experience. A former second round pick in the 1996 MLB Draft, Espada spent nine years in the minors before retiring to enter the coaching ranks. He started his career as a minor league hitting instructor and infield coordinator in 2006, joining the major league staff as a third base coach for the 2010 season. The Marlins attempt to reassign Espada to a minor league managerial role led to his departing the organization as he joined the Yankees’ front office.
However, Espada could not ignore the coaching bug indefinitely. He returned to the ranks in 2015, serving as an infield and third base coach for the Yankees. He left there after three seasons to take over for Alex Cora as the Astros’ third base coach. It makes sense that he would finally get his chance to manage in Houston as he will be their next manager.
Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada has long been viewed as a future manager. He will not need to leave to get that chance.