Bennett, four pro scouts not returning to Astros

Ricky Bennett, who served for six seasons as the Astros assistant general manager and director of player development, is among a handful in the club’s professional scouting department who learned Tuesday they won’t have their contracts renewed.

In addition to Bennett, four professional scouts won’t receive new contracts – Bryan Lambe, Jack Lind, Bob Rossi and Scipio Spinks – as the club continues to restructure its scouting staff. Their contracts run through Oct. 31.

“This is a time of year that most baseball operations departments look at the possibility of changes for next year, so we’re doing it as early as possible to give everybody as much time as possible to seek other opportunities,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “We’re looking top to bottom at the pro scouting department, and we’re going to be restructuring it, and part of the restructuring came with some personnel changes.”

Bennett had been with the Astros since 2005. He was in his second full season as director of professional scouting after previously serving as assistant general manager and director of player development. He oversaw the club’s Minor League affiliates from 2005-10.

The Astros announced Aug. 11 they were not renewing the contract of assistant general manager/scouting director Bobby Heck, who was replaced by Mike Elias.

Elias, 29, had been in the Cardinals organization since 2007 where he served as a scout before being promoted to manager of amateur scouting. Over the past several seasons, Elias has scouted domestically and internationally at both the amateur and professional levels.

Earlier this month, the Astros didn’t renew the contracts of amateur scouts Mike Brown (four corners, southern Nevada), Keith Bogan (Louisiana-Alabama-Mississippi-West Tennessee), Everett Stull (Georgia, South Carolina), John Kosciak (northeast) and Larry Pardo (south Florida and Puerto Rico), who signed No. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa of Puerto Rico. Kosciak signed first-round pick George Springer last year.

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