Larry Bowa was in Houston last week meeting with the Astros, but the team declined to say what exactly it was about other than general manager Jeff Luhnow saying “baseball-related matters.”
Bowa was more forthcoming yesterday, admitting that he was indeed there to interview for the manager job. That means Bowa is now one of five known candidates for the gig, along with interim manager Tony DeFrancesco, Nationals third base coach Bo Porter, Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar, and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez.
Bowa stands out from that group because he’s 66 years old and has tons of managing experience, going 81-127 (.389) with the Padres from 1987-1988 and 337-308 (.522) with the Phillies from 2001-2004. He also stands out because he’d seemingly be an odd choice for the Astros’ analytical, sabermetrically inclined front office.
Bowa, who’s currently working for MLB Network as a television analyst, called his meeting with the Astros “a good interview” and “a good conversation.”
The Rays acquired right-handed reliever Sergio Romo from the Dodgers, the teams announced Saturday night. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash hinted that the team was in on Romo during the offseason, but couldn’t quite make a deal happen at the time. The righty reliever was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Thursday and will net the club cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Romo, 34, struggled to find his footing in his first season with the Dodgers. He left a closing role in San Francisco to play set-up man to established closer Kenley Jansen, and saw mixed results on the mound with a 6.12 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 through his first 25 innings of 2017. It’s a far cry from the sub-3.00 ERA he maintained in 2015 and 2016, but the Rays don’t seem to have ruled out a second-half surge just yet.
The veteran right-hander is expected to step into a bullpen that already boasts a solid core of right-handed relievers, including Alex Colome, Brad Boxberger, Erasmo Ramirez, Chase Whitley and Tommy Hunter. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rays were intrigued by Romo’s extensive postseason experience, affordability and hefty strikeout rate, but will likely continue to hunt for additional bullpen depth in the weeks to come.
Astros’ third baseman Colin Moran was carted off the field on Saturday night after a foul ball caught him in the left eye. He was forced to leave in the sixth inning when a pitch from Orioles’ right-handed reliever Darren O'Day ricocheted off the handle of his bat and struck him in the face, causing considerable bleeding and bruising around his eye. The full extent of his injury has yet to be reported by the team.
Prior to the injury, Moran was 1-for-2 with a base hit in the third inning. He was relieved by pinch-hitter/third baseman Marwin Gonzalez, who polished off the end of the at-bat by catapulting a three-run homer onto Eutaw Street.
Evan Gattis and Carlos Beltran combined for another two runs in the ninth inning, bringing the Astros to a four-run lead as they look toward their 65th win of the season. They currently lead the Orioles 7-4 in the bottom of the ninth.