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Bullpen assistant Suba will not return next season
HOUSTON -- Strech Suba, who had worn an Astros uniform as part of the field staff since 1978, won't be returning to the club next year.

Suba, a bullpen assistant, was informed earlier this week by Astros management his contract wasn't being renewed, ending his 36-year affiliation with the club. He played for the Sarasota Astros in 1977 before retiring and taking over his current duties in the '78 season.

"We recognize the many years of service that Strech has provided for the Houston Astros, but we've decided to go in another direction with our on-field staff," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said through a team spokesman. "We thank Strech for all he has done for our organization and wish him the best in the future."

The Astros are still working to finalize their field staff for '13, and new manager Bo Porter said Tuesday the team was close to completing the staff. Earlier this month, the Astros announced John Mallee as hitting coach while adding Dave Trembley to the staff. Doug Brocail (pitching coach) and Dave Clark are also returning, but the roles for Trembley and Clark haven't been announced.

Suba is the latest long-tenured Astros employee that won't return when the team moves to the American League next year, joining strength and conditioning coach Gene Coleman (34 years), traveling secretary Barry Waters (33 years) and senior advisor Matt Galante (28 years).

Meanwhile, Burt Hooton, who spent the previous two years as pitching coach at Triple-A Oklahoma City, won't be returning next year. The former big league pitcher spent 13 years in the Astros organization, including parts of five seasons (2000-04) as the Major League pitching coach.

Hooton spent the last eight seasons as pitching coach at Triple-A, beginning with Round Rock (2006-10) before moving with the team to Oklahoma City. He played 15 years in the Major Leagues and was the winning pitcher in the clinching Game 6 of the 1981 World Series for the Dodgers, beating the Yankees.

"I'd like to keep coaching," Hooton said. "I've contacted some other teams, but nothing's come of it yet."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

Houston Astros