— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 29, 2014
Rosenthal reports that Porter spoke with owner Jim Crane about Luhnow, saying that Luhnow second guesses his (Porter’s) in-game management.
Luhnow reportedly keeps a tight circle with just a few people in the front office, and Porter isn’t always involved in many decisions.
Porter wasn’t told of Mark Appel‘s bullpen session at Minute Maid Park, according to Rosenthal.
An unannounced visit by Appel to Houston prior to his promotion contributed to the friction between Luhnow and Porter, sources said; Luhnow initially did not make Porter aware that Appel would throw a bullpen session for pitching coach Brent Strom. Porter then had to explain the situation to his players, a number of whom were seething, believing that Appel did not warrant his promotion and was receiving special treatment.
The incident, however, reflected the lack of communication within the Astros’ hierarchy. Rival executives say it is not unusual for a team to summon a prospect for a session with a major-league coach. Porter, though, grew upset because Luhnow did not inform him in advance that Appel would work with Strom.
Porter was signed at the end of the 2012 season. He has been known as an excellent coach off the field, a perfect coach for a rebuilding team such as the Astros.
However, Porter isn’t known to be the strongest in-game manager. As I’ve said many times on Twitter, and others have noted as well, Porter struggles with his bullpen management, and his lineups have often been questioned.
Of course, Porter hasn’t been dealt a fair hand. The 2013 squad was built to lose, and he may have had only a handful of actual MLB players. He has been given more talent this season, but young pitchers in the bullpen have struggled and some young hitters haven’t hit as well as expected.
Whatever the case may be, Crane has decisions to make this offseason. Keep the GM that helped with the rebuild and has the team on the right path while firing the coach. Keep the coach and hope that he can help turn around the clubhouse while firing the GM that many people have questioned. Or he could keep/fire both of them.
We can now add this to the crazy list of things that has happened during the 2014 Astros season!