NL Central Notes: Pudge, Chapman, Szczur

As Starlin Castro and Corey Hart celebrate birthdays today, here's the latest from the NL Central….

  • Writing for MLB.com, Peter Gammons talks to a number of GMs and scouts about the NL Central contenders.  One general manager thinks the Reds could "be the single biggest favorite in any division going into the season," while three scouts are collectively unimpressed with the Brewers, saying "Milwaukee may be awful" this season.
  • Ivan Rodriguez is "not a fit" for the Astros' catching needs, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.  The Nationals are known to be shopping one of their catchers, but Kilgore thinks Rodriguez's $3MM salary in 2011 may be too pricey for Houston, though the 'Stros have said they would add payroll for the right catcher.
  • Aroldis Chapman has been working hard in preparation for his first full Major League season, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
  • Baseball America's Matt Eddy looks at the details of the contract Matt Szczur signed with the Cubs in January, and also the revamped deal he signed just last week.


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22 Comments on "NL Central Notes: Pudge, Chapman, Szczur"


4 years 5 months ago

“while three scouts are collectively unimpressed with the Brewers, saying “Milwaukee may be awful” this season.”

Awful is pushing it, but I don’t think they’re going to be great. Same mediocre Brewers I’ve seen all my life.

4 years 5 months ago

I’m not a Brewers fan, and I’m not going to pretend I’ve seen any of their games this spring, but why is the sky falling?

Their record is good, the stars appear to be hitting, what gives?

timmytwoshoezzz
4 years 5 months ago

Spring training records are like reading a Bernie Madoff investment prospectus; neither can be trusted….

4 years 5 months ago

Thanks..I mean that really doesn’t answer my question, but that sure was a dynamite Madoff drop in.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 5 months ago

Hey Ryan. I agree. Like you I am not a Brewers fan and only watch them every now and then. That beign said, as long as Greinke is back by May 1st and Marcum not far behind then I think they will be a good team as long as they don’t have a horrible April/early May. If healthy though, a rotation of Greinke, Gallardo, Marcum, Wolf and Narveson is pretty good for a NL Central team, or any NL team for that matter.

Their hitting is pretty good too. Don’t see the doom and gloom the writer speaks of.

daveineg
4 years 5 months ago

Marcum is fine. He’s going to start on April 2nd. Greinke will be back before May 1st too. Figure no later than the 25th or 26th of April. Gallardo’s looked great. Wolf and Narveson haven’t posted great numbers, but finesse guys in Arizona rarely do.

They’ve had a lot of little injuries this spring. Nothing major. People question their depth, but even with a lot of starters out, they are 15-9 this spring. Weeks looks poised for a monster year. Carlos Gomez has looked real good in Arizona. If he posts .270/.320/.420, look out.

Lucroy and Hart haven’t played yet, but both figure to get work in minor league games in the last week and be ready a week or 10 days into the season.

Bullpen guys have taken some time to get the kinks out, but it’s Arizona.

nathanalext
4 years 5 months ago

The main thing I see the Reds having an advantage over the Brewers is depth. Is it THAT much more important/better to classify the Brewers possibly being awful?

4 years 5 months ago

The way I see it, barring any more injuries the Brewers will at least be contenders for most of the year, but if they get hurt at all, that’s it for them.

Ethanator99
4 years 5 months ago

I’m really down on the Brewers D. Their OF may be alright but the infield D is going to be brutal. Fielder, Weeks, Yuni, and McGehee. Plus they have no depth.

4 years 5 months ago

Yeah, having Yuni anywhere is going to make the whole infield bad.

I know Weeks is serviceable, but having that abomination at SS is going to ruin him. No clue on how McGehee is defensively, though.

daveineg
4 years 5 months ago

McGehee is no worse than average at 3rd. He was considered above average in minors. He’s had knee issues that limited his range somewhat but had minor surgery in the offseason and should be ready to go.

daveineg
4 years 5 months ago

Their pitching staff is made up of almost exclusively strikeout/flyball pitchers. The only guy on the staff that relies heavily on a sinker is Kam Loe. All this stuff about their infield defense is overblown. They will get most of their outs via the K and in the air.

4 years 5 months ago

Fly ball pitchers in these NL central parks means HR for the opposing team.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 5 months ago

Their defense could definitely be a problem. Weeks is the only one who plays at the level of acceptable, and even he’s not all that good. I’m thinking Counsell is going to be a busy man as an infield defensive replacement.

Backup_Slider
4 years 5 months ago

It’s hard to envision that the Brewers could simply add Greinke and Marcum to a 77-85 club and suddenly become a contender to win the division. Defense, the non-closer part of their bullpen, and contact ability are all problematic and makes me think that they’re a lot like the Cubs, another team built around starting pitching, a closer, home run power, and not much else.

Flharfh
4 years 5 months ago

They were what, like the 4th best offensive team in the NL last year? That’s with a negative WAR performance from the SS position. The Brewers bullpen is actually pretty good, and there is depth there. Braddock, Takashi Saito, Manny Parra, etc.

Plus when you’re replacing Jeff Suppan and Doug Davis With Greinke and Marcum, and when you don’t have to deal with Trevor Hoffman’s April/May implosion, I think its perfectly reasonable to expect them to contend for the division at the very least.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 5 months ago

Plus they are in the NL Central-not as hard to be in contention there because all of the teams have depth issues except the Reds. The team that manages to keep their best players off of the DL probably wins that division.

4 years 5 months ago

How awesome is it that Gammons went from the dark side(ESPN) to the light side(MLBNETWORK).

4 years 5 months ago

A shame his reporting skills didn’t get good, though.

PhnxCrew
4 years 5 months ago

were these three scouts asked if the brewers would compete in the NFC north or what? If they continue to have two aces injured then yes, they’ll be the same team as last year which was generally average. Isn’t cueto injured too though? we could be looking at the Cubs making it a four team race with all these aces getting hurt (puking noise).

4 years 5 months ago

Cueto will miss a couple weeks with shoulder inflammation that has already subsided and he is currently in a strengthening regimen. He will stay in arizona to get his pitch count up then join the team when he is ready. I expect him to miss about three weeks in April, maybe 3-4 starts. Reds have the depth in pitching that this won’t be a big issue.

MSUcorner
4 years 5 months ago

Greinke, Gallardo, Marcum is a decent first three. And that offense isn’t anything to scoff at. Saying they may, even “may,” be awful is really crazy. Although I couldn’t figure out why they were sub .500 last year … even with the one good pitcher … so maybe I’m crazy. It’s a division without a clear favorite, they have 3 solid starters and some elite offensive players … how can you not like their chances?

**Not written by a Brewers fan**