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Giants: Managerial candidate Joe Espada drawing praise

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 12: Joe Espada #19 of the Houston Astros hits ground balls during batting practice prior to game one of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park on October 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 12: Joe Espada #19 of the Houston Astros hits ground balls during batting practice prior to game one of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park on October 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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As the San Francisco Giants managerial search continues, Joe Espada has emerged as a legitimate candidate for the job.

The San Francisco Giants search for a replacement for longtime manager Bruce Bochy is underway, and while there is still no clear front-runner for the job, there is at least one clear candidate to watch.

Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada had a phone interview with the team earlier this month, then flew to San Francisco for an in-person interview between Game 2 and Game 3 of the World Series.

He appeared to be the runner-up for the Chicago Cubs manager opening, as they eventually opted to hire former catcher David Ross after interviewing Espada twice.

The 44-year-old doesn’t have any managerial experience at the MLB level, but he has a wealth of coaching experience, including time in the Miami Marlins minor league system, as the New York Yankees third base coach and in his current role as Astros bench coach.

So what does current Astros manager A.J. Hinch think about his right-hand man’s managerial upside?

He had the following to say when asked just that by Ken Davidoff of the New York Post:

“Joe Espada as a managerial candidate, I’ve said this before: Any team that asks about him, or that goes down this path, is heading down the right path with a really quality person. He’s got leadership skills. He’s got a feel for players. Players respect him. He’s been exposed to a lot of different things in his career, from his Miami days to his Yankee days to now his Astros days, where he can draw from that experience and be a really impactful leader of a dugout and a clubhouse.”

His youth and appreciation for analytics is no doubt a big part of what has caught the eye of team president Farhan Zaidi, who will have the final say over the eventual hire.

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He might not be the clear front-runner quite yet, but there’s no question Joe Espada is a serious candidate for the San Francisco Giants managerial opening.

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