HOUSTON -- Astros manager AJ Hinch has added Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash to his American League coaching staff for the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, which already includes his entire staff in Houston. Hinch and Cash, both former big league catchers, have become friends the past few years,
HOUSTON -- Astros manager AJ Hinch has added Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash to his American League coaching staff for the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, which already includes his entire staff in Houston. Hinch and Cash, both former big league catchers, have become friends the past few years, and both began managing their current teams in 2015.
Hinch's All-Star coaching staff will consist of Cash, Astros bench coach Joe Espada, first-base coach Alex Cintron, third-base coach Gary Pettis, hitting coach Dave Hudgens, pitching coach Brent Strom, second hitting coach Jeff Albert and bullpen coach Doug White.
"He's done a tremendous job," Hinch said of Cash. "I joked with him he's got a ton of experience handling nine pitchers a game, so that's a point in his favor when it comes to inviting another manager. Good guy, good baseball guy who has grown into his job. He's been at it about the same time I've been in this job, and it's nice to reward him with a trip to D.C."
Hinch originally said he wasn't going to invite another team's manager to join him on the coaching staff but changed his mind after Dodgers manager Dave Roberts invited Rockies manager Bud Black to join him on the National League bench.
Hinch contemplated bringing his entire 2017 coaching staff with him to Washington, but Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was Hinch's bench coach, had a family commitment, Hinch said. Red Sox bullpen coach Craig Bjornson and Giants hitting coach Alonzo Powell were also on Hinch's staff in Houston last year, along with retired first-base coach Rich Dauer, who will be in uniform in Washington.
"After looking at the group, I thought Kevin Cash was a perfect addition to the staff," Hinch said.
Cash, 40, played eight years in the Majors, including 20 games with the Astros in 2010. He became the Rays' manager in 2015 and had the Rays sitting at 44-44 entering Sunday's game. The Rays have flourished since Cash enacted a strategy in May of using relievers to start some games.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.