Houston Astros

Astros Name Tony DeFrancesco Interim Manager, Who Will Be Manager in 2013?

Jim PrattContributor IIAugust 19, 2012

Following Saturday night’s 12-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Houston Astros continued their recent mantra for the 2012 season of "everything must go" when they announced they had relieved manager Brad Mills of his duties, along with hitting coach Mike Barnett and first-base coach Bobby Meacham, effective immediately.

According to MLB.com, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow was waiting for Mills to return to his office after the normal postgame meeting with the media.

Houston’s front office had no comment once the dismissal was announced, but Mills told MLB.com, "You know when you're having a rough season and everybody always brings it up, nobody lets you forget it. The only thing I really have to say is I feel horrendous for Mike Barnett and Bobby Meacham. ... I just feel terrible for them and feel some responsibility there."

The Astros held a press conference Sunday morning at Minute Maid Park to name Triple-A manager Tony DeFrancesco as the team’s interim manager for the remainder of the season.

“I waited a long time to come to this level and be on a big league staff as a manager,” DeFrancesco told MLB.com. “I want to be the guy who changes the environment out there.” 

The Astros also announced Dan Radison (first base coach) and Ty Van Burkleo (hitting coach) will be joining DeFrancesco on an interim basis.

The club is expected to begin the search for a permanent staff immediately.

While the speculation as to who the new manager will be has yet to begin, MLB Network’s Peter Gammons tweeted seven names that should be on any managerial list.

7 names that should be on any managerial list:Brad Ausmus, Dave Righetti, Tim Wallach, Davey Martinez, Joey Cora, Joe McEwing, Gabe Kapler

— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) August 19, 2012

Mills was hired by the previous regime, former owner Drayton McLane and former general manager Ed Wade, after serving as the Boston Red Sox bench coach for six years.

Mills has had to endure a cavalcade of trades this season, including shipping out veterans Carlos Lee, J.A. Happ, Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez and Brandon Lyon.  In the midst of all those moves, the club went on a franchise worst 12-game losing streak.

The Astros currently have the youngest roster in Major League Baseball, averaging 26.4 years of age, according to The Chicago Tribune. With that type of youth movement underway, plus new ownership, it was no surprise that Mills’ time as manager was numbered.

 

Jim Pratt is the founder of Big Leagues Monthly | Magazine and has also been an MLB contributor for MLBDepthCharts and BravesWire.com. Follow him on twitter @BigLeaguesMthly.

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