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Strom returning to Astros as pitching coach

HOUSTON -- The Astros have agreed to hire Cardinals Minor League pitching instructor Brent Strom to be their pitching coach, a source told on Monday. He was the Astros' pitching coach in 1996 under manager Terry Collins.

Strom, who had worked with the Cardinals since 2007, will be announced by the Astros when the deal becomes official. He replaces Doug Brocail, who was re-assigned last week to become the club's special assistant to general manager Jeff Luhnow and senior pitching advisor.

Strom, who has also served as the Royals' pitching coach, was with the Expos/Nationals for five seasons from 2002-06 as the Minor League pitching coordinator before joining the Cardinals, where Luhnow was vice president of scouting and player development.

Strom, 64, was the New York Mets' first-round selection in the 1970 First-Year Player Draft. The southpaw owns a career mark of 22-39 with a 3.95 ERA in 100 career Major League games (75 starts) for the Mets (1972), Indians (1973) and Padres (1975-77). He graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in physical education and helped the Trojans win NCAA baseball championships in 1968 and '70.

Last week, the Astros shook up their coaching staff, deciding to move Brocail, while not renewing the contracts of bullpen coach Dennis Martinez or first-base coach Dave Clark. Third-base coach Dave Trembley has said he will return next year in a new role, likely as the bench coach, and bench coach Eduardo Perez also has an offer to return, but he hasn't made a decision.

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

Houston Astros