A report from David Barron and Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle revealed new details about former Cardinals scouting director Carlos Correa‘s hacking of the Astros’ computer databases from 2013-2014. On Thursday, federal judge Lynn Hughes unsealed three documents pertaining to Correa’s offenses. While certain parts of the documents remain redacted, Barron and Kaplan believe they could give Major League Baseball enough information to issue a punishment for the Cardinals prior to the start of the 2017 season.
The documents revealed that Correa obtained access to to the Astros’ “Ground Control” database 48 times and accessed the accounts of five Astros employees, using passwords from GM Jeff Luhnow, analyst Colin Wyers and three unidentified minor league players in the Astros’ system. Among other offenses, Correa also had “unfettered access” to the email account of director of decision sciences Sig Mejdal for 2 1/2 years.
After hacking into the system, Correa accessed the Astros’ list of preferred selections for the 2013 amateur draft, as well as confidential medical records, trade notes, and numerous scouting reports for players the Cardinals later drafted.
According to assistant U.S. attorney Michael Chu, Correa might also have been behind the Deadspin leak in 2015:
Chu also disclosed in the sentencing report his belief that “it must have been Correa” who leaked confidential Astros information to Deadspin.com concerning 10 months of Astros confidential trade discussions after also posting details to Anonabin.com and Pastebin.com, two bulletin boards that allow anonymous posting of data.
As a result of the Deadspin leak, the prosecutor wrote, “general managers through Major League Baseball were forced to awkwardly reassure their players. … Ultimately, the Astros were forced to issue private apologies to every team in the league. It was a humiliating episode for the Astros.
The documents can be read in full here. Based on the details revealed in the reports, Barron and Kaplan estimate that MLB officials could impose a sanction against the Cardinals as soon as this week.
Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.
Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.
Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.
It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.
While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.
The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”