Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister interviewed twice for the Astros' managerial job, but Houston will hire former Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch instead. Even though Banister didn't get the job, it appears the Astros took his candidacy seriously, which reflects well on Banister and the Pirates.
Former manager Bo Porter and the Astros' front office clashed as the team suffered through one terrible season and one bad one during Porter's tenure. Now, the Astros are now trying to turn their adventures with sabermetrics into big-league wins, and who better to look to than the Bucs, who have gotten more than expected out of their teams in two straight seasons and whose coaching staff has earned a reputation for buying into what its analytics team is selling. You can look at Ben Lindbergh's recent article about Mike Fitzgerald and the Pirates to see why. If I were a team in the Astros' position, I'd be learning all I could from the Pirates.