Brad Mills remains Astros manager despite ownership and front office shakeup

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When the Astros fired general manager Ed Wade there was speculation this his replacement might let manager Brad Mills go and bring in his own guy, but new GM Jeff Luhnow made it clear that won’t happen.

“Brad’s our manager,” Luhnow told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. “I had a good conversation with him, and I’m looking forward to working with him as our manager.”

Mills has a 132-192 record in two seasons in Houston, losing 86 games in 2010 and an MLB-high 106 games in 2011, but new owner Jim Crane described him as “a good developer of talent and that’s what we need.”

Lack of talent has certainly been a much bigger issue than Mills and with the Astros set for another ugly season in 2012 it makes sense for Luhnow to get settled in the job and reevaluate things next winter.

The Angels to lower the right field wall

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The Los Angeles Angels announced today that they will lower the right field wall at Angel Stadium from 18 feet to eight feet.

The stated reason: to make room for a new out-of-town scoreboard and “philosophical changes.” Obviously, though, helping out lefty power hitters is on the agenda too. As it was, Angel Stadium was in the bottom ten of all parks in allowing homers for lefties.

One of their own lefties is Kole Calhoun, who is a pull hitter. Another one could be Shohei Ohtani, who is a lefty hitter. Although, as a righty pitcher, that could harm him against opposing lefty batters. I’m assuming, though, that the Angels ran a bunch of numbers to establish that this move helps them more than it hurts them, or else they wouldn’t be doing it.