HOUSTON -- The Astros have traded outfielder Ben Francisco to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named later, general manager Jeff Luhnow announced on Friday.
Francisco, 30, was acquired by the Astros from Toronto as part of a 10-player trade on July 20. In 31 games (18 starts) with the Astros, Francisco hit .247 with four doubles, two home runs and five RBIs. He was 3-for-7 (.429) as a pinch-hitter for Houston.
In 518 career Major League games, Francisco has a .258 average with 47 home runs and 181 RBIs. He has also played in 17 postseason games between 2009-11, all with the Phillies. The deadline for acquired players to be eligible for postseason play is 11 p.m. CT on Friday.
Gonzalez has torn ligament in left ankle
HOUSTON -- Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez could be done for the season after an MRI performed Friday discovered a torn ligament in his left ankle. He was injured stepping awkwardly on first base in Thursday's loss to the Giants.
Gonzalez was in a protective boot as he left Minute Maid Park on Friday, but interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said surgery wasn't going to be necessary. Gonzalez won't be placed on the disabled list considering rosters can be expanded to 40 players on Saturday.
"Injuries are a part of baseball, and we've seen it all summer," DeFrancesco said. "You try to get a full roster, and now we have Sept. 1 coming, and I'm sure there will be some [roster moves on Saturday]. We should get some help on the way."
The Astros will also have to fill the spot on the roster vacated by outfielder Ben Francisco, who was traded to the Rays on Friday for a player to be named later. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said the club will call up three to five players, though not all at once.
Gonzalez, a Rule 5 pick, was hitting .234 with two homers and 12 RBIs, and had started 27 of 43 games at shortstop since Jed Lowrie was placed on the disabled list on July 15.
DeFrancesco might change some roles in 'pen
HOUSTON -- Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco gave his relief pitchers some words of encouragement prior to Friday's game and said he's ready to try some pitchers in different roles. The Astros blew a 4-0 lead in Thursday's loss, with the Giants scoring three in the fifth against starter Jordan Lyles and three in the seventh against struggling reliever Fernando Rodriguez.
"There's seven guys down there that are giving it everything they've got," DeFrancesco said. "One thing we're going to have to do is execute pitches. The stuff is good, but I think it's the command of each pitch that's giving us problems. Location of the fastball away doesn't wind up a fastball away, it winds up over the plate and up, and good hitters know how to hurt a baseball."
Rodriguez took his ninth relief loss of the season Thursday when he allowed five consecutive batters to reach, including one by intentional walk, after two outs in the seventh. Three of them scored.
"He's working on some things, and I know he definitely had an opportunity to step up and be a setup guy for us, and we'll continue to try to get him confidence, but it might be time to see what somebody else can do in that key role," DeFrancesco said. "When the game's on the line, we need somebody to step up. We talked about it [Thursday], and who that's going to be we'll find out tonight."
Astros add Ocampo, Goldstein to operations staff
HOUSTON -- The Astros continued retooling their baseball operations alignment Friday, hiring Oz Ocampo as director of international and Kevin Goldstein as pro scouting coordinator. General manager Jeff Luhnow also announced Stephanie Wilka was promoted to coordinator, baseball operations.
Ocampo will oversee the Astros' scouting and player development programs globally, and will assist in building the Astros brand worldwide. He has several years of experience in baseball operations working both in the United States and internationally, and worked in the Commissioner's office since last year as a specialist in international baseball operations.
Ocampo began his career with the Cardinals in 2005 as their Dominican academy administrator and coordinator of Latin American scouting, and he later assumed roles of manager of amateur scouting and coordinator of international player development.
He will assume the job that had been performed by Felix Francisco.
"He understands where the market's going and understands how to scout players," Luhnow said. "I'm really excited about him having a real impact on our Latin American program. I'd say our production, if you look at it honestly, has been OK and not great, and we need it to be great for us to fulfill our long-term strategy of being able to compete consistently and develop our own talent."
Goldstein comes to the Astros after serving as a national writer specializing in scouting and player development for Baseball Prospectus and ESPN.
"He's been to a lot of games and covers a lot of ground for one person," Luhnow said. "One of his key skills is in aggregating different opinions and being able to synthesize it and figure out what the list looks like, who's the best prospect in each organization and go pretty deep ...
"The opportunity to have him working with our group of pro scouts, consolidating all that information and interpreting it and presenting to the people that need to make decisions is huge. He's been presenting it to the public and he's got 30,000 followers on Twitter, and clearly there's a market for that. For him to do that and us be the beneficiaries of that, that's a great opportunity."
In her new role, Wilka will assist the general manager's office across all areas of baseball operations.
Astros induct Reynolds into Walk of Fame
HOUSTON -- Former Astros starting pitcher Shane Reynolds was inducted into the Astros Walk of Fame on Friday afternoon. He's the 16th person to be honored on the walk, which sits along Texas Ave., outside Minute Maid Park.
"When they called, I was very excited and very honored," said Reynolds, who makes his home in the Houston area. "I didn't do a lot of things as a player, other than on the field, that [attracted attention]. I didn't ask for that. But for them to do this for me, I think, is awesome. It's great for the Houston Astros to do something like that for the players."
Reynolds, 44, went 103-86 in 11 seasons with the Astros from 1992-2002 and was an anchor in the starting rotation when the Astros reached the playoffs in 1997-99 and 2001.
"I had a few good years, but I also had some really good players out there behind me also," he said. "That makes a difference. A good manager and good players helps pitchers out a lot."
Reynolds is the final Walk of Fame inductee this season.