Brad Mills remains Astros manager despite ownership and front office shakeup

2 Comments

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.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

Matt Hazlett/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.