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Porter will be involved in shaping coaching staff

HOUSTON -- The Astros will wait until manager Bo Porter completes his season with the Nationals before making any decisions about the coaching staff.

"We're going to have everybody on the staff be involved through the process," general manager Jeff Luhnow said Thursday while discussing the Astros' hiring of Porter to be manager. "We don't know which direction we're going to go with any of their particular roles at this point."

Porter, currently the third-base coach with the Nats, will be involved in the construction of the coaching staff, Luhnow said.

"We need to make sure that we surround Bo with a staff that has all the capabilities -- whether that's experience in the American League, infield experience, pitching experience, etc. -- to create the best staff in baseball to support the best young talent in baseball," Luhnow said.

Interim manager Tony DeFrancesco will have a role in the organization, but it's unclear what that might be. He will play an important part in meetings about the current roster that start next Thursday in Houston, the day after the regular season ends.

"One of the reasons we brought Tony in when we did was because we knew he was going to be with our organization going forward, and we wanted him to be the guy with these young players through this transitional time until the end of the season," Luhnow said.

Owner Jim Crane said the team recognizes that Porter doesn't have a great deal of managerial experience and will need to find coaches who can help him learn on the job. Crane also wants the coaches to complement one another.

Porter, on a conference call, sounded excited about the opportunity to mesh with the current coaches and possibly bring in other people.

"Jeff Luhnow, and his staff, from the day that he took over the organization, has done a great job of surrounding him with quality people, off of the field as well as on the field," Porter said.

First-base coach Dan Radison and Porter were both with the Nationals last season, Radison as the first-base coach and Porter coaching third. Luhnow said the front office talked with Radison during the interview phase of the hiring process to find out more about Porter's coaching style.

"Dan was an important part of the process," Luhnow said.

Ty Van Burkleo started this season as the Minor League hitting coordinator before being hired to be the Astros' hitting coach on Aug. 19. He spent the 2011 season as Houston's roving hitting instructor.

Pitching coach Doug Brocail was a special assistant to the GM beginning in 2010 before being named the interim pitching coach on June 14, 2011. He was given the permanent position on Oct. 11.

Dave Clark has been the third-base coach for four seasons and has worked with the Astros organization since 2005.

Bench coach Joe Pettini joined the team this year after 10 seasons as the bench coach under Tony La Russa in St. Louis.

"Joe is a very capable bench coach and has done it under the best, and really that particular role, it's important there's a strong connection and a supporting connection between the bench coach and manager," Luhnow said. "We're not ruling anybody out, we're not ruling anybody in. We're going to go through the process similar to what we did with the manager search and try to identify each role and match up the best candidates."

Houston Astros