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HOUSTON (AP) – Tony DeFrancesco helped Houston’s Triple-A affiliate find success.
The Astros hope he can do the same for their young, struggling major league club.
DeFrancesco was chosen interim manager Sunday, a day after Brad Mills was fired.
“There’s going to be a commitment to excellence,” DeFrancesco said. “Believe me, I want to be the guy that changes the environment around here. I grew up a winner, I had success in the minor leagues, and it’s time for it to translate to the major league level. I’m sure I’m going to make mistakes, but that’s part of baseball.”
DeFrancesco managed Oklahoma City to a 67-60 record and has the RedHawks contending for a playoff spot this season. Houston has the worst record in the major leagues at 39-83.
He takes over an Astros club that is the youngest in the National League at 26.5 years – and even younger than the Oklahoma City team, 27.3 years.
In his third season running the Astros, Mills was dismissed Saturday night after Houston lost to the Diamondbacks 12-4.
Hitting coach Mike Barnett and first base coach Bobby Meacham were let go along with Mills. Dan Radison will take over in the interim as first base coach and Ty Van Burkleo will be the hitting coach.
General manager Jeff Luhnow said he made the decision not to bring Mills back for next season about a week ago.
“Once that decision was made, it made a lot of sense to make these decisions sooner rather than later,” Luhnow said. “We didn’t want to have a lame-duck administration and wanted to get some new blood in here.”