Cardinals rookie scouting director Chris Correa has impressed in his first six months on the job, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch writes. His biggest early test, of course, will come in a week with the amateur draft, the first one he’ll run. Correa came to the game with a background in statistics, but acquired significant scouting knowledge after joining the St. Louis organization. “I think had he not done that, he might not have been the right person for this job,” said GM John Mozeliak. “Obviously, scouting is part art, part science, and to some level, he understood the analytical side of it. But he was also someone who was willing to ask about and try to learn the scouting side. For someone to embrace both, that makes an impression.”
- The Pirates have decided to keep lefty Jeff Locke in the rotation, per skipper Clint Hurdle, as Tom Singer of MLB.com tweets. “He still has a big upside,” explained Hurdle. After another rough outing, ballooning his ERA to 5.34, it seemed that Locke might lose his place, as MLB.com’s Barry Bloom wrote, but Pittsburgh will stick with him at least a while longer. Of course, the club can continue to handcuff him to Vance Worley, who not only serves as a long-man in the event that Locke is run early but also would remain lined up to take over. As Hurdle noted, the club has plenty of depth options, but it no doubt would prefer to see Locke turn things around to keep things that way. From his own perspective, this is an important season for Locke, as he’s set to be arbitration-eligible for the first time.
- In spite of a managerial change, the Brewers continue to lose ground and appear to be among the game’s most obvious summer sellers. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports looks at the team’s stock of talent, suggesting that it would make sense for the club to deal away catcher Jonathan Lucroy if it chooses to move star center fielder Carlos Gomez. But Passan notes that there are not many contending teams in dire need of a backstop, which could limit his market — in spite of his incredibly cheap contract. I’d suggest that Lucroy’s limited action and lack of production in the early going is an even greater barrier to a summer deal. As for his prospective market, the Tigers and Angels look like teams that could reap huge benefits from a real upgrade behind the dish, while plenty of other clubs would be involved given Lucroy’s extended, cheap control.
- The Reds are fresh off a sweep of the Nationals, but GM Walt Jocketty says that nothing has changed regarding the team’s planning process, as John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. “Our plan is to be competitive as we can for as long as we can,” said Jocketty. “But we’re still looking at all the different alternatives. Our scouts are out looking at the other clubs. We’re looking for players who might help us as well as prospects.” The veteran executive noted that the team has a lot of games against division opponents and at home in advance of the trade deadline, which will presumably give the team at least a fighting chance of getting into the mix. Cinci will need to put together quite a run to make buying an advisable route, of course, particularly given that it plays in a division currently led by the team with the best record in baseball and two other strong contenders.