For the past two seasons, Tony DeFrancesco came over from the A’s organization and had little choice but to learn the Astros organization from top to bottom, and at times his team has seen all of those same spots in the standings as skipper of the Triple-A OKC Redhawks. I certainly don’t blame him for last year’s difficulties (when the Astros began trading guys in a reconstruction of their system) and I certainly expected he’d have a hard time keeping this year’s club atop the standings in the PCL as more of the same has occurred, and other organizations have stayed their course.
But it should be noted that when he had a talented core group of young talent and a few veterans mixed in for the first half of this season, the Redhawks were a top flight club. As Tony De joins the Astros to replace Brad Mills, who was clearly not the choice of the new franchise leadership, I wish him well and expect that with some positive moves, he can be a solid manager and get the Astros back into contention in a couple of years. With, of course, a lot of help in letting this round of acquired talent develop a bit on the farm and from the new ownership.
He’s interim for now, but who hasn’t held that role in the past?
Wish you luck Tony. Here’s the presser when he was hired in OKC and below that is today’s press release.
RedHawks manager Tony DeFrancesco has been named interim manager of the Houston Astros for the remainder of the 2012 season. Astros Roving Infield Coordinator Tom Lawless will assume managerial duties for the RedHawks.
In two seasons with the RedHawks, DeFrancesco led the team to a 135-135 record. After finishing last season 68-75, the RedHawks have improved to 67-60 this season. His career record in the PCL 713-564, and he guided the Sacramento River Cats to three PCL Championships (2003, 2004, 2007).
“We are extremely happy for Tony and his family for this wonderful opportunity,” RedHawks President/General Manager Michael Byrnes said. “Although we are sad to see him go, we’ve been proud to have him lead the RedHawks the past two seasons.”
Lawless will join the RedHawks in Round Rock, Tex. on Monday. Earlier this season, he served as acting manager for the RedHawks during three games in May.
Prior to becoming a roving instructor this season, Lawless managed each of the past three seasons in the Astros system with Lexington (2009), Lancaster (2010) and Corpus Christi (2011). He has nine years of managerial experience and his career record stands at 617-763.
Lawless spent eight seasons in the Major Leagues playing for Cincinnati, Montreal, St. Louis, and Toronto.
The RedHawks are in the middle of a nine-game road trip and will return home Monday, August 27 when they face the Albuquerque Istotopes . Tickets for the final homestand of the season are available through the RedHawks ticket office at (405) 218-1000 or by visiting okcredhawks.com.