Quick Hits: Astros, Braves, Indians, Choo, Marlins

The Braves beat the Mets at Citi Field tonight to remain atop the Wild Card chase in the National League.  Atlanta found their way into the playoff chase as expected, but with a different cast of characters than planned.  Here's today's look around the league..

  • The Astros announced that they have named Mike Elias their new amateur scouting director in a press release. Bobby Heck, who filled the same role since October 2007, will not have his contract renewed. Elias worked with Astros GM Jeff Luhnow in the Cardinals' front office.
  • David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution gives Braves GM Frank Wren credit for not only managing to plug the rotation's holes on the cheap, but making it as formidable as it was supposed to be when the season began.  While it's unknown how well free agent pickup Ben Sheets and recent acquisition Paul Maholm will hold up, both have looked strong through seven combined starts.  Regardless, both pitchers will cost the Braves less than $4MM in 2012.
  • Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer looks at how the Indians can position themselves to contend in 2013.  Hoynes suggests that the Tribe starts by parting ways with Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore, who are both eligible for free agency at the end of the year.  Beyond that, he writes that trading Shin-Soo Choo could bring Cleveland some solid pieces in return.  So far, the rightfielder has rebuffed the club's efforts to keep him in the fold beyond next season.
  • Carlos Lee has done exactly what the Marlins hoped he would when they acquired him from the Astros last month, tweetsJuan Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel.  In 32 games with Miami, Lee has a .291/.382/.355 slash line and an OPS not far off from what he posted in Houston earlier this year.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

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