Jim Crane to be approved in mid-November

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We’ve heard so much back-and-forth on whether or not Jim Crane is going to be approved as the owner of the Astros and when that it’s hard to know what to believe anymore. But when Peter Gammons says it all matter-of-factly like this, it rings true:

Houston ownership change expected to go through in mid-November, w/ AL move.

Oh, man. So that AL move is really gonna happen, huh? Bad news for Theo Epstein and the Cubs, whose efforts to win the NL Central will be that much harder without the Astros to kick around anymore.

Phillies promote Chris Young to pitching coach position

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Chris Young joined the Phillies as their assistant pitching coach last offseason. This offseason he’s getting a promotion: the Phillies just named as their main (um, top? lead? alpha?) pitching coach for the 2019 season. He replaces Rick Kranitz.

Ken Rosenthal, who reported the promotion, says that the Phillies didn’t necessarily want to shake up their pitching coach situation, but that since several clubs wanted to hire Young away, it was either promote him to the top job or lose him. That’s bad news for Kranitz, but he remains under contract for 2019 and will, in the meantime, be allowed to interview elsewhere.

The Phillies pitching staff ranked 11th in runs allowed in the National League in 2018. They were tenth the year before that, but some early season uncertainty and mismanagement by Gabe Kapler and a late season collapse served to hide what was, for most of the season, a bit of a better staff than the year before. The Phillies obviously credit Young for that and want to keep him in the fold.