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Ensberg back as Astros fill out Minor League staff

Former third baseman takes new role in organization as special assignment coach

HOUSTON -- Former Astros third baseman Morgan Ensberg will return to the organization next season in a new role as a Minor League special assignment coach. That was just one of several Minor League assignments announced by the club Thursday.

Ensberg, who last year coached infield at Class A Lancaster, will travel throughout the Astros' system to instruct infielders and work with the club's Minor League players. He played seven of his eight Major League seasons with Houston and was team's Most Valuable Player in 2005, when he hit 36 homers and drove in 101.

Field coordinator Paul Runge and pitching coordinator Dyar Miller both return for 2014, while Jeff Albert has been promoted to hitting coordinator after spending the 2013 season as the Astros' roving hitting instructor. Doug White is the new roving pitching instructor, and Adam Everett returns as an infield instructor.

Meanwhile, Brendan Verner (strength and conditioning coordinator), Jamey Snodgrass (medical coordinator) and Daniel Roberts (rehab coordinator) make up the club's Minor League medical staff.

Albert was promoted to hitting coordinator after spending the 2013 season as Houston's roving hitting instructor. Prior to joining the Astros last year, he spent five seasons as a hitting coach in the Cardinals' Minor League system.

Runge returns for his fourth season as the club's Minor League field coordinator. Prior to joining Houston's organization in 2011, Runge compiled 14 years of Minor League managerial experience, all coming in Atlanta's system, which included three Appalachian League titles.

Miller returns to the Astros for his second season as pitching coordinator after joining the organization in 2013. He most recently served as the Cardinals' Major League bullpen coach in 2012 and worked as the organization's Minor League pitching coordinator for four seasons (2008-11).

White was named roving pitching instructor for what will be his second season in the Astros' organization. He served as pitching coach for the Class A short-season Tri-City ValleyCats in 2013 and helped lead the club to the New York-Penn League championship title.

Everett will continue to work with both the Major League team and Minor League players, focusing on the development of infielders. Everett played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues (2001-11), including seven with Houston (2001-07), making just 85 errors in 827 career games.

Verner returns for his second season as strength and conditioning coach after joining the organization in 2013. Snodgrass, who has been a trainer in the Astros' system since 1999, returns to serve as the club's medical coordinator for the fourth consecutive season. The Kissimmee, Fla.-based Roberts returns to his role as the organization's rehab coordinator for the fourth consecutive season.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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