"We wanted to make sure it was a diverse staff, a staff that covers all the disciplines and a staff that has a good mix of experiences and everybody was a good teacher," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "I think we accomplished all of the goals we had. There were a lot of moving parts."
Luhnow reached back to his Cardinals roots by hiring Martinez, who had been a pitching coach in the St. Louis system for the past six seasons, including the past two seasons at Class A Palm Beach. He also served stints as pitching coach for the Cardinals' Double-A affiliate in Springfield and for their Gulf Coast League club.
Martinez, 57, is currently serving as manager of the Nicaraguan team that will be playing in the qualifying round for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He was a special assistant for the Orioles prior to joining the Cardinals.
"Someone with Dennis' experience as a player and a pitching coach in the Minor League level brings a lot," Luhnow said. "Not only that, but Dennis, being born and raised in Latin America, he adds a lot of value in terms of communicating with all the Latin players, position players and pitchers. This was another thing we wanted to accomplish getting Eduardo and Dennis -- they're not only bilingual, but bicultural."
Perez has 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 Colombian team that is preparing for the qualifying round for the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
Perez previously had success as manager of the Ponce Lions in the Puerto Rican Winter League for two seasons (2008-09), earning Manager of the Year honors in '08 and also guiding the Lions to the Caribbean Series in '09.
Perez most recently had been the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins, where he replaced Mallee. 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.
"He and Bo have a strong history together, and it's important for any manager to have a bench coach he can really rely on," Luhnow said. "The bench coach needs to be one step ahead of the manager to anticipate what the manager's needs are going to be next and be able to provide information and a point of view. Eduardo's capable of doing that."
Luhnow also said Perez is a good link to the front office in that he's an inquisitive mind who understands new technology and new ways of thinking about players and how to play the game and maximize wins.
"That's going to be an important connection for us in terms of the front office," he said.
Meanwhile, the Astros also announced Monday that Tony DeFrancesco would return to Triple-A Oklahoma City for a third season as manager of the RedHawks. He went 16-25 as the interim manager of the Astros for the final 41 games of the 2012 season after Brad Mills was relieved of his duties.
"Tony's a manager at heart and a real leader and likes to be in that role," Luhnow said. "We really feel like he did a terrific job at this level, did a very good at the big league level. That experience will make him a more valuable asset for us at Triple-A."
Craig Bjornson, who served as bullpen coach last season, is going to be a roving pitching instructor, focused on rookie-ball levels and the Dominican Republic.