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McCracken among Astros' staff promotions

HOUSTON -- The Astros announced promotions of seven members of their baseball operations staff Monday, including Quinton McCracken as director of player personnel, Brandon Taubman as director of baseball operations and Allen Rowin as director of Minor League operations.

Also receiving promotions are Mike Fast (director of research and development), Pete Putila (assistant director of Minor League operations), Tom Koch-Weser (manager of advance scouting) and Bill Firkus (director of sports medicine and performance).

In his new role, McCracken will assist in player personnel decisions across all areas, including free-agent acquisitions, trades and amateur signings. He will evaluate players across all categories including amateur and professional, both inside and outside the organization. He will also serve as an advisor to the functional leaders in amateur scouting, professional scouting, player development and international operations. McCracken spent the last three seasons (2013-15) as the club's director of player development.

Taubman has worked in the Astros' baseball operations department for parts of three seasons (2013-15), spending the 2015 season as manager of baseball operations. In his new role, he will continue to assist the baseball operations department in contract negotiations, financial planning and roster construction.

Fast, who served as an analyst in the decision sciences department for four seasons (2012-15), will set the vision for and provide day-to-day operational leadership for the analytical group in baseball operations. He will also continue to assist with player evaluations and player transactions.

Rowin, who has been with the club for nine seasons (2007-15), spent the last three years (2013-15) as the Astros assistant director of player development. In his new role, Rowin will direct the day-to-day operations of the Astros' Minor League system. He will play a lead role in the active roster management of the Astros' nine Minor League teams and will be directly involved in Minor League player contract negotiations.

Putila will assist Rowin in all areas of player development operations after working the last two years as coordinator of baseball operations.

Koch-Weser, who spent the last two seasons as coordinator of advance information, will assist in player personnel decisions utilizing video scouting methods and will manage the advance and video scouting functions. He will also continue to assist the Astros' Major League staff with advance scouting reports and video analysis.

Firkus, who joined the club as a medical risk manager and analyst in July 2013, will oversee the club's medical practices, including injury prevention and rehabilitation.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
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