Bo Porter was hired as Houston's manager on Thursday, and the Astros hope he can help orchestrate a turnaround with this team similar to the one he's been a part of in Washington.
Porter, who was the Nationals third base coach this season, replaces Brad Mills, who was fired last month. Porter will remain with the postseason-bound Nationals for the remainder of their season.
"I think he's going to push us to get better, he's going to push us to get better quickly, and he's going to shorten the time that it takes for us to get to where we want to be as an organization which is where the Houston Astros are competing year in and year out for division titles and championships," general manager Jeff Luhnow said.
Tony DeFrancesco has served as interim manager and will finish the season in that role.
Porter will lead the rebuilding effort of a young team that has the worst record in the majors, wrapping up its second straight 100-loss season. The Astros are in their first season under new owner Jim Crane and moving from the National League to the American League next year.
Luhnow and Crane flew to Philadelphia on Wednesday to offer Porter the job. He was not in Houston for the announcement because the Nationals play on Thursday night.
"He's putting together a great leadership team and I'm just honored to be a part of that leadership team," Porter said of Crane on a conference call.
Porter has been part of the quick reversal in Washington. The Nationals were 69-93 in 2010 and enter Thursday's games with the best record in the majors at 94-61.
"He's been part of the Nationals' ascent, and that's a model that we look at as the Astros to say we'd like to get to that point where we can go from a team that has a losing record to a team that can win a division and compete for a championship like the Nationals are in a position to do this year," Luhnow said.