HOUSTON, TX — Longtime coach Joe Espada has been named as the 20th manager in franchise history, Astros General Manager Dana Brown announced today.
Espada, 48, has several years of experience as a Major League coach, including the last six seasons (2018-23) as the Astros bench coach. In that span, the Astros have won three American League Pennants and a World Series championship. Additionally, the Astros have played 79 postseason games since 2018, which is by far the most in the Majors in that span.
Prior to joining the Astros in 2018, Espada spent three seasons as the Yankees third base coach from 2015-17, and four seasons as the Marlins third base coach from 2010-13. In between those two coaching stints, Espada served as a pro scout for the Yankees in 2014. Overall, he has 13 years of experience as a Major League coach.
Espada also has experience as a manager, having spent two stints as a skipper in the Puerto Rican Winter League, the first with Manati (2012-13) and the second with Carolina (2014-15). He also served as a third base coach for Team Puerto Rico in the 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classics.
“We feel that Joe is a great fit to run our ballclub,” Brown said. “He has a great relationship with our players and staff and has been an integral part of the Astros success for several seasons. He knows the organization from top to bottom.
“Joe has a great baseball mind and has great passion and enthusiasm. He has been in the game for a long time, knows what it takes to win and has certainly earned this opportunity.”
Before retiring as a player, Espada spent 10 seasons (1996-2005) as an infielder in the minor leagues after being selected by the Oakland A’s in the second round of the 1996 MLB Amateur Draft. His playing career included stops in the Oakland (1996-2000), Florida (now Miami, 2001), Colorado (2001), Kansas City (2002), St. Louis (2003), Texas (2003) and Tampa Bay (2004) organizations. After retiring as a player, Espada began his coaching career in the Marlins minor league system in 2006. He would coach in the minor leagues for the Marlins for four seasons (2006-09) before being named third base coach for the Major League club in 2010.
Espada, who is a native of Santurce, Puerto Rico, will be the second Latino manager in Astros history, joining Cuban-born Preston Gomez, who managed Houston in 1974-75.