Astros' Triple-A manager won't return in '18

DeFrancesco spent past seven years as skipper of top affiliate

Astros' Triple-A manager won't return in '18

SEATTLE -- The Astros have parted ways with Triple-A manager Tony DeFrancesco, the team announced Wednesday. He led Fresno to winning seasons in each of the past three years, including 77-65 this season.

DeFrancesco spent seven seasons managing the Astros' Triple-A affiliate, beginning with four seasons with Oklahoma City (2011-14) and then the past three with Fresno (2015-17). In '15, he was named Baseball America's Minor League Manager of the Year after leading the Grizzlies to the Pacific Coast League championship and the Triple-A National Championship.

DeFrancesco, who earned his 1,000th career Triple-A victory on April 9, also served as interim manager for the Astros for the final 41 games of the 2012 season.

"We are very thankful to Tony for his contributions to the Astros organization," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a news release. "He has had a long, successful career as a manager and played a key role in the efforts to rebuild our Minor League system over the past few years. We wish him the very best in the future."

The 2017 season marked DeFrancesco's 23rd as a Minor League manager and his 34th in professional baseball as a player, coach or manager. In his 14 seasons as a manager in the Pacific Coast League, DeFrancesco's clubs have won eight division titles, four PCL titles and two Triple A National Championships.

"Thank you to Jeff and the entire Astros organization for the opportunities they have provided over the past seven years," DeFrancesco said in a news release. "It is great to see the success of the organization over this time, and I appreciate being part of that journey. I wish them continued success moving forward."

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.