Quick Hits: Astros, Phillies, Bautista, Starling

Links for Friday on the 25th anniversary of Roger Clemens' first 20 strikeout game…

  • MLB officials say Jim Crane is still on track to buy the Astros from Drayton McLane, according to Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle. Justice argues that Crane should bring Lance Berkman, Andy Pettitte and former GM Gerry Hunsicker back to Houston if he does take over.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports argues that manager Charlie Manuel needs to be cautious with his rotation, because it’s “by far the Phillies' biggest strength.”
  • Former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi told Tom Verducci of SI.com that he liked Jose Bautista enough to trade for him, but wasn’t expecting historic production from the former utility player. “If you told me he would hit 20 home runs, I would have believed it because you could see the power,” Ricciardi said. “But no way could you see 50.”
  • D'Backs GM Kevin Towers was on hand to watch high schooler Bubba Starling play yesterday, according to ESPN.com's Keith Law (on Twitter). A two sport athlete, Starling is arguably the top high school position player in the 2011 draft.