HOUSTON -- The Astros' pending move to the American League will bring no shortage of changes on the field. Interim manager Tony DeFrancesco has experience managing games with the designated hitter while in the Minor Leagues and said he prefers National League ball.
"You can make your moves and make your defensive substitutions," he said. "I know when I was in the American League, the nine guys played and the bench guys, it was tough to get them enough work to be consistent. That was always the challenge in the American League."
DeFrancesco managed for 16 years in Oakland's system before coming to the Astros' Triple-A affiliate in 2011. He took over in August at the Major league level after Brad Mills was dismissed.
But there is one part of the NL game that DeFrancesco didn't like to see, especially when his team was on offense.
"I don't like it when the pitcher comes up [to hit]," he said "That's something that I had to get used to for two years. Early in the game, when you have a chance to score runs and there's runners on second and third and one or two outs, the game kind of stops. If they get a hit, that's a plus, but most of the time they're going to make an out and stop everything."
Gonzalez hopes to make scheduled start
HOUSTON -- Edgar Gonzalez is hopeful that he'll be able to make his next start after straining his right hamstring in Friday's game against the Pirates.
He said the hamstring felt about the same on Saturday as it did on Friday. He tweaked it while trying to field a ground ball in the second inning and left the game after 1 2/3 innings.
"We'll figure it out today," Gonzalez said. "Yesterday was really bad."
Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco is preparing for the possibility that Gonzalez won't be ready to pitch on Friday in Milwaukee, when he would be scheduled to come up in the rotation.
"He's a little bit sore, which we expected," DeFrancesco said. "We'll see how it responds. Nobody really knows how bad it was. He just couldn't drive off his back side yesterday."
Fernando Rodriguez, who tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Gonzalez, could be a candidate for a spot start. With 10 relievers in the bullpen, the Astros also might be able to piece together a game.
Clark Goble is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.