Astros manager A.J. Hinch lauds Stanford's hire of David Esquer

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      By the time he met with reporters Friday afternoon, Astros manager and Stanford University alum A.J. Hinch had already called to congratulate David Esquer, hired Friday as Stanford’s new head baseball coach.Esquer succeeds Mark Marquess, who retired after 41 seasons. Hinch, who according to a San Francisco Chronicle report in April was atop Stanford’s wish list for the job, played under Esquer when Esquer was Stanford’s hitting coach. Esquer spent the last 18 seasons coaching at California. “I love it. I love Dave Esquer,” Hinch said. “He was a coach of mine when I was at Stanford. I didn’t love when he went to Cal, but that’s out of rivalry, not out of spite. But I think he’s a tremendous man that can impact our players there. To stay in the family, someone who has Stanford history, Stanford blood, great man of high integrity, high character, (he’s) a great choice.” Hinch and Esquer have stayed in touch since Hinch graduated from Stanford in 1996. He said Esquer will probably come out to Oakland’s Coliseum when the Astros are there to play the A’s next week Zack Godley Jersey.When the San Francisco Chronicle report came out in April, Hinch dismissed it as “a non-story,” and said that he wanted “to be the Astros manager here for a really long time.” Esquer played shortstop at Stanford from 1984-87 and served as an assistant coach under Marquess from 1991-96. He led California to five NCAA regionals and was selected as the National Coach of the Year in 2011, a year the Bears appeared in the College World Series.Odds endsDallas Keuchel (neck discomfort) said on Friday he thinks he will resume throwing this weekend. Once he progresses in his throwing program, he doesn’t think he will necessarily require a minor league rehab assignment. “I’m in the mood not to waste bullets,” he said. “If I feel good, I feel good. Maybe a live (batting practice) or something.”Charlie Morton (lat strain) threw a more extensive bullpen session Friday as he progresses toward facing hitters in either a live BP setting or on a short rehab assignment Jake Barrett Jersey.Collin McHugh (elbow impingement) also threw a bullpen session Friday. His next step could be facing hitters in a live BP session. He figures to need at least two live BP sessions before progressing to the first start of a rehab assignment that will span several outings. He’s still not expected back until after next month’s All-Star break Beltran will host “A Night in Old San Juan” the evening of Aug. 20 at the Four Seasons in Houston to raise money for scholarships for local students and benefit the Carlos Beltran Foundation, which promotes health, fitness and education for children from lower income families.Tony DeFrancesco, manager of the Astros’ Class AAA Fresno affiliate, will manage the Pacific Coast League All-Stars in the July 12 Triple A All-Star Game.

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