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Astros name Lawless Double-A skipper

Astros name Lawless Double-A skipper

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HOUSTON -- Tom Lawless, who has managed at two different levels in the Astros organization the previous two seasons, has been named manager at Double-A Corpus Christi, the team announced on Monday. Joining him on his staff are pitching coach Don Alexander and hitting coach Stubby Clapp.

Lawless, 53, will be managing at his third different level in as many seasons, having spent 2010 with Class A Lancaster and 2009 with Class A Lexington. The 2011 season will be Lawless' 33rd in baseball, a career that includes time spent as a player, roving instructor, hitting coach, Minor League manager and Major League Baseball executive.

"Tom brings a very professional approach to the game, both on and off the field," Astros director of player development Fred Nelson said. "He's a hard worker and a keen competitor, and has tremendous respect for the game. We believe Tom will pass along these qualities to our players."

Alexander joins Corpus Christi's staff for his eighth consecutive season as a pitching coach in the Astros organization. He spent 2010 as Lawless' pitching coach at Lancaster. Prior to that post, Alexander spent five seasons at short-season Class A Tri-City.

Clapp spent the previous four seasons in the Astros system with Lexington (2008, 2010) and rookie-level Greeneville (2007, 2009). He recently finished his 2010 season as a hitting coach for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League. Like Lawless and Alexander, athletic trainer Eric Montague is up from Lancaster, where he completed his 10th season as a trainer in the Astros organization and his fifth at the Class A level in 2010.

Meanwhile, the Astros will have a new scout next year. Assistant general manager/director of scouting Bobby Heck said Larry Prado, who signed Milwaukee's Ryan Braun, has been hired to cover Central and South Florida. Prado has more than 20 years' experience as a scout, Minor League pitching coordinator and Minor League pitcher.

Greg Brown, who was the Astros' scout in South Florida, has left to become head coach at Nova Southeastern University, which is where prospect J.D. Martinez, whom Brown signed, went to school. Also, Matt Heath, who scouted North and Central Florida, took a position as associate head coach at College of Charleston.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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