Interim manager Tony DeFrancesco is making a case for himself to retained as the Astros full-time skipper, and the Astros are listening. DeFrancesco was officially interviewed by the Astros brass on Friday and is one of several candidates being considered for the position. After 18 seasons as a minor league manager DeFrancesco finally got called up to the majors last month, replacing fired skipper Brad Mills.
DeFrancesco got off to a slow start in the bigs as the Astros dropped ten of his first eleven games. But Tony D. was not discouraged. He was still confident that he could get this young Astros team turned around. The team has since played at a .500 clip (8-8) including a series win in Cincinnati and two wins in their last three games against the red-hot Phillies.
In addition to DeFrancesco the Astros have interviewed Tampa Bay bench coach Dave Martinez and Washington third-base coach Bo Porter. The Astros have also met with former manager and current TV analyst Larry Bowa, although it is unclear if he is being considered for the managerial job.
DeFrancesco will have the advantage of proving himself over the final 41 games of the 2012 season. He has coached most of the Astros current players in his two year stint at AAA Oklahoma City and his familiarity with them has to be a plus. Another plus could be the fact that DeFrancesco grew up in the Oakland A’s organization and is familiar with the “moneyball” style of management.
Tony D. came out of his interview feeling confident and was attributed with the following quotes by astros.com.
I thought it went well. I was very comfortable with them. Jeff and Jim want a leader and I’m hoping I can be the guy that can lead these guys. I’m excited to have the chance to even talk about it.
DeFrancesco got five & 1/3 shutout innings from Dallas Keuchel and a first inning homer from Justin Maxwell in last night’s 5-0 win. More good news: Mickey Storey returned to action for the first time since being struck by a line drive Wednesday. Storey struck out both Phillies batters he faced, finishing off the sixth inning for Keuchel.
DeFrancesco has shuffled today’s lineup a bit. After stating that Tyler Greene would be starting at 2B in place of Jose Altuve, Greene is instead at SS for Jed Lowrie. Fernando Martinez is also a late scratch in RF and has been replaced by Jimmy Paredes. Altuve is in his customary leadoff spot and Jordan Lyles will be on the mound. Roy Halladay gets the start for the Phils.