The Astros stuck with manager Brad Mills this season, despite new ownership and a new general manager, but it appears they are already thinking about who will lead them into the American League West in 2013. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Mills will likely be replaced after the season.
Mills, who was hired in October of 2009 under former owner Drayton McLane and former general manager Ed Wade, is in the final year of his contract while the Astros hold a club option for 2013. Entering play this evening, he owns a 164-243 (.403) record as the Houston skipper.
As for Mills’ replacement, Rosenthal was told that new GM Jeff Luhnow will likely consider three candidates from his time with the Cardinals, including Astros bench coach Joe Pettini, former Nationals manager and current Reds Double-A manager Jim Riggleman and Cardinals first base coach Chris Maloney.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale made a hasty exit from his final Grapefruit League outing on Saturday after sustaining a left hip contusion. He was struck on the leg with a line drive from the Astros’ J.D. Davis in the first inning and immediately collapsed on the mound. He was able to walk off the field without a noticeable limp, however, and later told reporters that the ball struck a nerve and temporarily stunned his leg. As a precautionary move, the Red Sox pulled him after the incident and will have the left-hander undergo X-rays to rule out any further injury to his hip.
This was expected to be Sale’s last start of spring training. Prior to Saturday’s matinee against the Astros, the 28-year-old southpaw made three starts in camp, allowing five runs, one home run, three walks and striking out 18 batters in 14 innings. He’s still on track to start the season for the Red Sox during their road opener against the Rays next Thursday.