Lancaster goes with Lawless as new manager; Astros promote Clements to Double-A

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Wes Clements, who drew praise from Houston Astros assistant general manager Ricky Bennett for the way he handled the Single-A Lancaster JetHawks during his first year as a manager in the team’s organization, has been named skipper of the Double-A Corpus Christi team for 2010.

Clements, 51, was the focus of a feature story last September (linked here) after the JetHawks finished 56-84, but made progress with rising stars such as catcher/outfielder Koby Clemens (son of Roger Clemens, who led the minor leagues with 123 RBIs), and outfielder Jon Gaston (who tied for the minor league lead with 35 home runs). Both players are expected to start the season with the Double-A Hooks.

“This is a great thing,” Clements said via email today. “The Corpus Christi stadium and organization has won awards all the time for best minor league field, stadium, front office, etc.”

Brad Mills, the new Houston Astros manager, was a teammate of Clements at the University of Arizona in the late ’70s (as was current Red Sox manager Terry Francona), a squad that won the College World Series in 1980. . Clements was Houston’s sixth-round selection in the 1980 draft and spent his first five pro seasons in the Astros system.

To replace Clements at Lancaster, the JetHawks hired former big-leaguer Tom Lawless as their manager. Lawless spent eight seasons in the majors (1982-1900) with Cincinnati, Montreal, St. Louis and Toronto. He played in two World Series hit a dramatic 3-run homer in Game 4 of the 1987 World Series against the Minnesota Twins. He is also the only player to ever be traded for Pete Rose, in 1984.

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