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Astros Hire Mike Barnett As Hitting Coach

The Houston Astros officially filled their 2011 coaching staff as they hired Mike Barnett to become their new pitching coach according to the Houston Chronicle's Zachary Levine

Barnett spent the last two seasons with the Astros as a minor league consultant and has also worked closely with manager Brad Mills while he was the bench coach for the Boston Red Sox.  Barnett will replace former Astro Jeff Bagwell after he turned down a two-year offer from the club.

With the Astros in rebuilding mode, GM Ed Wade hopes that Barnett will be able to develop the now younger Houston hitters:

"It was really Millsie, when we whittled the list down and probably got it down to the final three, he was the one who said 'I think it's important that we salute what Barney's done in the system,'" Wade said. "One because it's the right message to send generally throughout the system, but also of equal importance, from the standpoint of his familiarity with the hitters."