The Astros clean house: Ed Wade, Tal Smith fired

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Shakeup time:  the Astros have announced that president of baseball operations Tal Smith and general manager Ed Wade have been fired. the moves come a week after Jim Crane took control of the team.  It was not terribly surprising.

The team said assistant general manager David Gottfried will serve as interim general manager but is not a candidate for the permanent position.  There are a lot of potential candidates including two obvious ones in former Astros GM and current Rays senior VP Gerry Hunsicker and current Rays GM Andrew Friedman. Ken Rosenthal names the Rangers’ Thad Levine or A.J. Preller and the Marlins’ Dan Jennings as potential candidates.

It’s been a nutso offseason as far as general manager musical chairs go, as the Orioles, Red Sox, Twins, Angels, Cubs and Padres have gotten new bosses. Now the Astros.  The winter meetings look to have more in the way of orientations and introductions than it will have trades and stuff.

As for the Astros, the next big thing after getting a new GM is to decide if manager Brad Mills stays on board.  A new guy may want his own man at the helm. That said, Mills has had basically zero chance to do anything with the talent — or lack thereof — he has been provided by the Astros.  One would hope that he gets a chance to stick.  If not, someone should call the Red Sox and ask them if they’d like their old bench coach back as their next manager.

Dodgers tab Walker Buehler to start on Monday

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The Dodgers announced that pitching prospect Walker Buehler will be called up to start on Monday against the Marlins. Rich Hill went on the 10-day disabled list with a cracked fingernail, so Buehler will serve as a fill-in while the lefty is out, likely for just one start.

Buehler, a 23-year-old right-hander, made his major league debut last September, making eight relief appearances. He struggled, yielding eight runs on 11 hits and eight walks with 12 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings. He was off to a good start to his 2018 season at Triple-A Oklahoma City, owning a 2.08 ERA with 16 strikeouts and four walks in 13 innings.

Monday will be Buehler’s first major league start. He is the Dodgers’ No. 1 prospect and No. 12 overall in baseball according to MLB Pipeline.