Astros Add McCracken To Player Development Team

HOUSTONJeff Luhnow wanted it to be clear immediately. The Astros general manager wanted Quinton McCracken to play a most instrumental role in the franchise's future.

Houston's new farm director spent the past two seasons working with Arizona's minor league players as the Diamondbacks' assistant farm director. McCracken competed for 12 years at the major league level, playing for six teams.

The 42-year-old Duke graduate was just the type of player that Luhnow would appreciate within the Astros farm system. Translation: McCracken realized much of his full baseball potential.

McCracken batted .291 with 45 stolen bases from 1995-97 with Colorado. He was involved with the formative stages of two franchises, both the Rockies and the Devil Rays. He was selected Tampa's most valuable player in 1998 as a center fielder. The switch-hitter compiled a .274 major league batting average and participated in the 2002 playoffs with Arizona.

McCracken will wish for the same from his future farmhands.

"(McCracken) absolutely got the maximum out of his tools and his capabilities, and that's what we're looking for in all our players," Luhnow said. "Quinton had a long and successful playing career, so he knows what it takes to get to the big leagues and stay there.He has successfully transitioned to a front office role in Arizona and we are excited to have him join our efforts in Houston. He will be instrumental in developing the next generation of Astros stars."

McCracken officially joined the Astros on Oct. 29, while Allen Rowin was promoted to assistant farm director from his previous position as player-development coordinator.

Space Shots

• Tim Bogar reportedly turned down an offer to become the Astros' bench coach because Houston wanted it written into his contract that he couldn't interview for managerial jobs elsewhere. Luhnow declined comment on the matter.

• Houston claimed outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin off waivers from the Red Sox. To make room for Lin on the 40-man roster, the club designated righthander Enerio Del Rosario for assignment. Lin, 24, spent most of his 2012 season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hit .247/.323/.316 with 11 doubles, 30 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. Lin was once considered one of the Red Sox's top prospects and homered in the 2008 Futures Game for the World Team at Yankee Stadium. He went 2-for-2 and was named as the game's MVP.