Even though A.J. Hinch of Waverly, IA was suspended a full year for his involvement in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, he was not out of Major League Baseball for long. On Friday, Hinch became the manager of the Detroit Tigers after the team parted ways with interim manager Lloyd McClendon.
The Tigers become the third team that Hinch has managed. In addition to five seasons with the Astros from 2015 to 2019, he managed the Arizona Diamondbacks for two seasons from 2009 to 2010. Over seven seasons Hinch’s career record is 570 wins and 452 losses.
Hinch’s most notable year as a Major League Baseball manager came in 2017. The Astros had a regular season record of 101 wins and 61 losses, and Houston won the American League West by a convincing 21 games over the Los Angeles Angels. In the postseason, the Astros defeated the Boston Red Sox three games to one in the American League Divisional Series, the New York Yankees four games to three in the American League Championship Series, and the Los Angeles Dodgers four games to three in the World Series.
However many have called for the Astros to be stripped of their prize three years ago. That is because it has been determined that Houston used technology to steal signs of opposing teams, something that was simply not allowed. Under a thorough investigation, these violations occurred during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. As a result, Hinch and Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow were each suspended for the entire 2020 Major League Baseball season for failing to prevent these violations from occurring.
As a player, Hinch was a catcher for seven seasons with the Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, and Philadelphia Phillies from 1998 to 2004. While with the Tigers in 2003, Hinch batted .203 with three home runs and 11 runs batted in. During 350 career games, Hinch had 32 home runs and 112 runs batted in.