HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have hired former All-Star pitcher Dennis Martinez as bullpen coach and former Major League first baseman and coach Eduardo Perez as bench coach, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today.
With the addition of Martinez and Perez, new Astros manager Bo Porter’s Major League coaching staff is now complete. The rest of the Astros coaching staff will be as follows: Doug Brocail (pitching coach); Dave Clark (first base coach); Dave Trembley (third base coach); John Mallee (hitting coach).
“With the addition of Eduardo and Dennis, we have assembled a group of teachers and coaches that will give our players the best chance to contribute to their maximum potential,” Porter said.
Martinez, who had been a pitching coach in the St. Louis Cardinals system for the past six seasons, won 245 games in his outstanding Major League career, a total that ranks first among Latin American-born pitchers. He appeared in four All-Star Games and led the American League in wins in 1981. While pitching for the Montreal Expos on July 28,1991 at Dodger Stadium, he hurled baseball’s 13th perfect game in a 2-0 victory. Overall, Martinez pitched 23 seasons in the Majors (1976-1998).
Martinez, who is from Nicaragua, is currently serving as manager of the Nicaraguan team that will be playing in the qualifying round for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He had been the pitching coach for the Palm Beach Cardinals (A) for the past two seasons (2011-12). He also served stints as pitching coach for the Cardinals Double A affiliate in Springfield and for their Gulf Coast League club. Martinez, 57, also served as a special assistant for the Orioles prior to joining the Cardinals organization.
“Dennis has an impressive track record as a Major League pitcher and now has six years of coaching experience under his belt,” Luhnow said. “He has a unique ability to inspire pitchers and give them the confidence they need to succeed at the highest level.”
Perez has both playing and coaching experience in the Majors and has also had success as a manager in Latin America. He currently is serving as manager of the Columbian team that is preparing for the qualifying round for the upcoming World Baseball Classic, which will be the same tournament Martinez’ Nicaraguan team will compete in. Perez previously had success as manager of the Ponce Lions in the Puerto Rico Winter League for two seasons (2008-09), earning Manager of the Year honors in 2008 and also guiding the Lions to the Caribbean Series in 2009.
Perez, who is the son of Hall of Famer Tony Perez, most recently had been the hitting coach for the Florida Marlins since June 8, 2011. Prior to that, he had served as a special assistant to the baseball operations department for the Cleveland Indians, a role which included considerable time in uniform providing instruction at the Major League and minor league levels. Perez played parts of 13 seasons (1993-2006) in the Major Leagues with the Angels, Reds, Cardinals, Rays, Indians and Mariners. Following his playing career, he spent several seasons as a baseball analyst for ESPN, working the postseason and for Baseball Tonight.
About Perez, Luhnow commented, “Eduardo has a deep knowledge of the game which stems from his childhood growing up around the game, his days as a college player, a minor league player, a Major League player for over a decade, as a broadcaster and as a coach at the big league level.”
DeFRANCESCO TO RETURN AS OKC MANAGER
Luhnow also announced today that Tony DeFrancesco would return for a third season as manager of the Oklahoma City RedHawks. DeFrancesco had been the RedHawks manager since the start of the 2011 season before being named the Astros interim manager on August 19, replacing Brad Mills.
The RedHawks showed solid improvement in 2012, finishing with a 78-65 mark on the season, just 1.5 games out of first place in the Pacific Coast League’s Southern Division. Tom Lawless, who had been serving as the Astros roving infield instructor, managed the RedHawks after DeFrancesco was named Astros manager.