DeFrancesco in mix to stay on as Astros skipper

DeFrancesco in mix to stay on as Astros skipper

HOUSTON -- Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco is awaiting his chance to interview for the permanent managerial position with owner Jim Crane, general manager Jeff Luhnow and team president George Postolos. The Astros are interviewing candidates this week, and DeFrancesco is in the mix.

"I'm excited about it," he said. "I'm glad I have an opportunity right now. We're going to sit down with Jim and Jeff and talk about the future here. I hope my presence on the field right now and the experience I'm getting right now can lead to a permanent position. I'm excited and honored to be asked."

DeFrancesco took over for Brad Mills last month. He was in his second season managing at Triple-A Oklahoma City and has 18 seasons as a Minor League manager under his belt, posting a 1,235-1,088 record. He made his managerial debut in 1994 with Oakland's rookie affiliate in the Arizona League and spent the next 16 years managing in the A's system, including seven at Triple-A Sacramento.

"I know I can do the job," he said. "I feel confident when I'm on the bench, and running the game is something I've done my whole life. It's no different. I don't feel any pressure. I just feel like it's another game, and we're trying to win a ballgame like any manager."

Luhnow has said he wants a manager willing to embrace the Astros' increased use of analytics, something that DeFrancesco had extensive experience utilizing in the Oakland organization.

"My background is the A's, and the 'Moneyball' area," he said. "I grew up with that system. I believe in it 100 percent, and it's something I hope we can teach to these young players. If you watch the games, we're making outs by chasing too many balls out of the zone and we're not as selective as we could be -- putting ourselves behind in counts. If we can continue to increase our on-base percentage and work the count with the starting pitchers out of the game, all that comes into play when you're trying to win ballgames."