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NL Central Notes: Pirates, Grilli, Choo, Marte

Here's a look at the latest out of the National League Central, where the Cardinals currently are in the lead..

  • It looks like the Pirates made the right move in trading Joel Hanrahan to the Red Sox this winter, as new closer Jason Grilli is thriving in the ninth inning, writes CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler.  Grilli has adjusted nicely to the closer role, as the 36-year-old right-hander owns a 1.26 ERA with 23 strikeouts and four walks through 14 and 1/3 innings.
  • Meanwhile, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports has the story on Reds leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo and his upcoming free agency.  Morosi argues that Choo is in line for a major contract this winter as he is raking in Cincinnati.  So far, the outfielder has a .323/.453/.569 slash line with seven homers.
  • In a separate piece, Knobler compares Pirate outfielders Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen.  While Marte lacks the notoriety of McCutchen and other top young players, that could soon change in Knobler's view.  Marte is off to an early .321/.385/.515 line with ten stolen bases so far this season.

Max Fogle contributed to this post.

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