As reported by Astros beat writer Brian McTaggart, the team has tabbed San Diego native and former Padres pitcher Brent Strom to replace Doug Brocail as pitching coach. Brocail, who also pitched for the Padres, was promoted last week. He's now Houston's senior pitching advisor and special assistant to the GM.
Strom pitched for San Diego the last three seasons of his five year career, from 1975- '77. He had previously played for the Mets in 1972 and the Indians in '73. Strom had a pair of decent years with the Padres that worked to average out the three seasons in which he got shelled. Not that one's performance on the field is in any way connected to how he'll do as a coach; I mean, many regard Dave Duncan as the greatest pitching coach of all time and he never threw a single pitch.
Working in Strom's favor is that this isn't his first rodeo. Heck, it's not even his first go-round as Astros pitching coach. Strom first held the job back in 1996. He was let go after the season along with the manager and the rest of the staff, so it was nothing personal. Strom also served as the Royals pitching coach in 2000 and 2001 but not even the ghost of Christy Mathewson could have saved that shitshow so Brent got his walking papers yet again. He's been with the Cardinals for the past several seasons, working as their head minor league pitching instructor. Now, that's something to showcase on the ol' resume. If I were Brent Strom I would be taking ALL the credit for Michael Wacha right about now.
As for Doug Brocail, most of you are probably more familiar with him. Brocail served two tours of duty with the Padres, first from his debut in 1992 through the '94 season and then again in 2006 and '07. He actually had a worse ERA than Strom but had a better record and ERA+ because of his era (lower-case). Oddly, Broke followed both of his stretches in San Diego with two-year stints in Houston; he also mixed in four years with the Tigers and two with the Rangers.
Best of luck to both of these gentlemen in their new roles. As the old cliche goes, they're gonna need it.