Astros add Firova, Murphy to coaching staff; Speier retires

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros have added quality control coach Dan Firova and assistant pitching coach Bill Murphy to their staff under manager Dusty Baker.

Firova takes over for the 70-year-old Chris Speier, who is retiring after a 19-year playing career followed by a coaching career that spanned two decades.

The rest of Baker’s staff will remain intact from his first season in Houston. Baker took over in the wake of the firing of AJ Hinch after he was suspended for a year for his role in the team’s sign-stealing scandal.

The staff includes assistant coach Michael Collins, hitting coaches Alex Cintron and Troy Snitker, first base coach Omar Lopez, pitching coach Brent Strom and third base coach Gary Pettis. Josh Miller, who worked as the team’s bullpen coach last season, now has the title of pitching coach.

Firova worked as the bullpen coach for the Nationals in 2016-17 when Baker managed the team. Before that, Firova spent 19 seasons in the Mexican League, where he won three titles as the manager of Mexico City.

Murphy’s position is a new one on the staff. He comes to Houston after spending the last five seasons as a pitching coach and coordinator in the team’s minor league system. With the minor league season canceled last year because of the pandemic, Murphy spent the season working with pitchers at Houston’s alternate training sites.

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