He had to wait a while, but Tony DeFrancesco finally has his first win as a major league manager, as the Astros topped the Mets 3-1 last night at Citi Field. DeFrancesco managed 17 years in the minors before taking over for Brad Mills last Sunday and was 0-4 as interim manager going into last night’s game.
Jordan Lyles tossed six innings of one-run ball in the win and also chipped in with an RBI double. Tyler Greene, who was recently acquired from the Cardinals, hit his third homer in 12 games as a member of the Astros.
It was a pretty special night for DeFrancesco, who grew up in the Bronx and went to Seton Hall. He had plenty of family and friends in attendance at Citi Field, including his parents.
Here’s video of a post-game toast in the visiting manager’s office, courtesy of Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle:
Pretty cool stuff. Last night’s win was just the eighth for the Astros in their last 51 games. As our own Aaron Gleeman noted last night, the Astros are amazingly 4-0 against the Mets this season and 36-86 against everyone else. In other words, the Mets make up 10 percent of their wins this season. LOLMets lives on.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.