The Houston Astros have hired Dave Hudgens as their new hitting coach. Hudgens, of course, held that job with the Mets from the start of the 2011 season—Sandy Alderson's first year as general manager—until he was fired in late May this season. The Mets replaced him temporarily with Lamar Johnson, who worked as a hitting instructor in the team's minor league system at the time and will not be back as the major league hitting coach next year.
Hudgens was not shy about his feelings when he was dismissed. When it came to ownership, he said:
"If they want a winner in that town they need to let the purse strings loose and let Sandy do what he wants."
The Mets have generally been tight-lipped about their payroll restrictions over the past several years, though the team has clearly been working with significant financial limitations. Hudgens also didn't hesitate to criticize the SNY broadcast booth for its take on the Mets' hitting approach.
In Houston, Hudgens joins new manager A.J. Hinch's staff. The Astros were one of the worst teams in baseball this year, but with a young roster, Hudgens should get an opportunity to help mold the Astros' future.