Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer lived up to that billing on Thursday night, as he made it into the ninth inning of the game against our Braves having given up only one run. Unfortunately for Washington, that was when he gave up his second run of the game, and it came on a (controversial) walk-off hit from Cameron Maybin. This made it another successful MLB debut for a Braves pitching prospect, as Manny Banuelos came away from this one with 5.2 IP, seven strikeouts, and no walks.
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Here it is, straight from the horse's mouth:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Braves?src=hash">#Braves</a> have let clubs know they're open to dealing from pitching prospect depth in a trade for a bat. They've asked about young catchers</p>— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) <a href="https://twitter.com/jaysonst/status/616957357373796356">July 3, 2015</a></blockquote>
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In case you were wondering why the Braves were stockpiling on pitching prospects, this is probably why. You can't keep all of them, so why not position yourself to be able to deal some of them for a bat or two?
Yesterday was the start of the International Signing Period, and the Braves were super busy. First, the Braves made two big signings: Outfielder Cristian Pache and infielder Derian Cruz. Both prospects were ranked inside of the Top 30 of MLB.com's international prospect rankings, so it was a good day for the organization in that regard. Meanwhile, the signings depleted the Braves' international bonus pool, so they made a few trades in order to build that back up. Say goodbye to Cody Martin, Caleb Dirks, Jordan Paroubeck, and Garrett Fulenchek. Say hello to $1.1 MM in bonus pool money, which should be enough for what they need in order to give Pache and Cruz their bonus money.
So, Reed Harper is currently playing shortstop for the Carolina Mudcats. Last night, Harper made a play that probably would've brought a tear to Andrelton Simmons' eyes. Personally, I can't believe that this is actually real and not an optical illusion.
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Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez made his long-awaited return to the mound yesterday, and it was almost as if he'd never left. Fernandez pitched a solid game in what turned out to be a win for the Marlins over the Giants, and he also contributed to the cause by hitting a home run. How's that for a return?
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Some extremely interesting news came out of the Cardinals camp yesterday, as they fired their scouting director Chris Correa. This came after Correa reportedly admitted to the Cardinals that he was one of the people who committed corporate espionage against the Astros. Of course, there's no reason to take Correa's word as gospel at the moment, but this could definitely lead to this story getting juicier and juicier if Correa's word turns out to be truth.
Per [St. Louis Times reporter Derrick] Goold, Correa denies taking any information from the Houston database, let alone subsequently posting it online for the world to see. Perhaps Correa's denial is a lie and he did in fact steal the Astros' internal information and post it online as an act of vengeance against Luhnow and his underlings for stealing information from the Cardinals. But if Correa is telling the truth, this story is far from over. The 2014 leak of internal Houston trade documentation, Schmidt's reporting in the Times, and the information in Goold's Tuesday article combine to indicate that Correa is not the only individual who gained access to Houston's database. At least one other person did so, stole information, and posted it online. Only time will tell whether the Cardinals' internal investigation or the F.B.I.'s criminal inquiry is able to identify any additional culprits.