Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow believes his organization will benefit from Doug Brocail moving from pitching coach to special assistant to the GM, while also acknowledging it was not easy to tell first base coach Dave Clark and bullpen coach Dennis Martinez their contracts would not be renewed.
Also, Dave Trembley confirms he is returning to the Astros staff in 2014, but he was not ready to disclose in what capacity. He said he will not continue as the team's 3rd base coach.
"I just want to help, be a team player," Trembley said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.
"I'm very committed to what the Astros are doing. The overall plan is very solid. The future is going to be very good."
Brocail, who pitched for the Astros for four years during three different stints, joined the coaching staff as the interim pitching coach in June of 2011.
Brocail, who will also serve as the Astros senior pitching advisor, will be working with pitchers at all levels of the organization.
"It's a great role for him," Luhnow said. "Doug was in the front office and asked to come down and help out after a pitching coach was let go a few years ago. Originally, it was going to be on an interim basis, and then he did a good job and he stayed on, and he stayed on for two full years after that and I think he's really helped the development of a lot of our young pitchers. He really gets a kick out of working with young pitchers.
"I think his biggest asset is his enthusiasm and his ability to express how he teaches pitching to a broad audience. I think that will work for us in his role in the front office where he can impact not only the players at the big league level, but impact players throughout our organization. He will also be involved in some scouting assignments as well, and we've got another big scouting assignment coming up for this year's draft."
Clark had been on the Astros big league staff for five years, the first four as third base coach and he coached first base in 2013
Clark was the Astros interim manager in 2009 and he played for the Astros in 1998.
"It was difficult (to let Clark go) and I definitely respect and admire everything he did for the organization from interim manager to managing Double-A to being our third base coach and first base coach," Luhnow said. "He's moved around quite a bit. He has a tremendous amount of experience.
"At the end of the day he's an outfield-baserunning instructor. Those are both (manager) Bo's (Porter) strengths. We really feel like we need somebody whose expertise is more in the middle infield. When you're trying to put together the coaching staff puzzle, not only personalities and chemistry, you are also looking at different skill sets and how you mix it altogether.
"So much of our future is based on our middle infield with (2nd baseman Jose) Altuve having a long-term contract now, and with (shortstop Jonathan) Villar being such an outstanding young man with so much potential ahead of him, that we really need to make sure we are doing everything we can to give these guys the proper coaching and guidance at this level."
Martinez leaves the Astros after one season on the coaching staff.
"I'm just real disappointed," Martinez said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. "I don't know exactly what was the reason.
I understand in this business you get hired to get fired. I thought that I did a pretty good job. I'm just hoping for the best for the organization."
Martinez, who pitched 23 years in the big leagues, owns 245 victories and played in the All-Star Game four times, was caught off guard by the move.
"It was a kind of a surprise to hear so fast, so quick, but it is what it is," Martinez said. "I am a professional. I played this game for a long time.
"I stood up for what I believe. If I did something wrong or if I did come out with the truth, maybe they didn't like it. I don't know. I'm taking it as it comes and I'm moving forward."
Luhnow said the decision on Martinez was painful for him and that it had more to do with the make-up of the staff going forward.
"When it comes to Dennis, he is a tremendous human being, a great man and a good friend of mine," Luhnow said.
"To let him know that he wasn't going to come back in that capacity was difficult for me because I have a lot of respect for him, a lot of respect for what he did as a player, a lot of respect for what he did as a minor league coach and I think he did a good job this year for us.
"Having said that, when you are putting together a staff of six or seven or eight Major League coaches, the mix has to work and people have to get along with each other and work complimentary together. What you envision working at the outset doesn't always happen day-to-day, not that there was some big conflict.
"We're going to hire a new pitching coach and we're going to let that new pitching coach be very involved, if not guide the hiring of the bullpen coach. We don't want to force-fit people together that may or may not be complimentary to each other."