CHICAGO -- After signing veteran catcher Chris Snyder prior to this season to provide extra depth at catcher while Jason Castro worked his way back to full-time duty following a 2011 season lost to knee surgery, the Astros will have to consider whether to bring Snyder back next year.
The Houston native and the team have a mutual option for 2013. Snyder was hitting just .176 with seven homers and 24 RBIs entering Monday, but his presence as a leader on a young team can't be measured with stats.
"Snyder's really provided an important element of leadership in the clubhouse," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "Offensively, he hasn't produced the way he would have wanted or we would have wanted, but we're going to have to look forward and see what it means for us.
"Castro has emerged for us offensively, and I think he still has a few things to work on from a catching perspective, but he's going to be out No. 1 guy next year so we just need to figure out if Snyder or someone else is the best fit for that two spot."
Luhnow conducts year-end interviews with players
CHICAGO -- Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow met with 12 players Monday, both at the team's hotel in the morning and in the dugout at Wrigley Field prior to the game against the Cubs, in the first of three days of season-ending interviews.
"It's an exhausting process, but it's very worthwhile," Luhnow said. "It's a good opportunity for them to kind of recap the year and for me to give them my perspective and hear what their goals are for the season going forward. It's been good."
It was a chance for the players to talk about their performance this season and where they stand in the organization heading into next year.
"I learned something from every single one of them," Luhnow said. "That's important. I learned a lot about what's going in the clubhouse and how everybody is feeling and whether or not people are planning to play this offseason or what their goals are for next year."
DeFrancesco to savor memories as team's skipper
CHICAGO -- Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco admitted he'll probably get a little emotional Wednesday, which will be his last game at the helm of the club. He was chosen to be the interim manager for the final 41 games, but Nationals third-base coach Bo Porter will take over as manager next month.
"I was excited to get the opportunity and about the way the guys finished," DeFrancesco said. "It's going to be 41 games I'll remember. Hopefully there will be other opportunities, but right now this is where I'm at in my career and I'm happy to even have the opportunity to say I was a Major League manager."
DeFrancesco was in his second season as manager at Triple-A Oklahoma City when he took over for Brad Mills on Aug. 19. Entering Monday, the Astros had posted a 14-24 record since he took over the team, but that was after losing 10 of his first 11 games. Houston was 13-14 in September.
"It seems like everybody has responded well and had fun and when you win it makes a difference," he said. "To have a winning month, that's something we can look forward to as an organization."
DeFrancesco has been offered a chance to stay in the organization after the season is over, but the role has yet to be determined. He said there's no hurry for the club to give him an answer, saying he was looking forward to a vacation with his wife to Hawaii.
"When it's time to decide, we'll make that decision," he said.
• Closer Wilton Lopez is battling flu symptoms and it was questionable whether he would be able to pitch for the Astros in Monday's series opener at Wrigley Field. He's been sick for a few days.
• Bench coach Joe Pettini will be away from the team for the final three games of the season following the death of his father. Catching coordinator Matt Sinatro will serve as bench coach.