Here’s the latest from the NL Central…
- The Brewers are off to a terrible start, and Fangraphs’ Mike Petriello opines that the club might not be able to turn things around given injuries, a lack of starting pitching depth and the few players who are performing well are due for regression. Petriello suggests the team erred by taking one last run at a playoff berth and now they’ll have a tough time rebuilding immediately due to a lack of both quality prospects and obviously tradeable veterans.
- The Cubs have been drastically overhauled by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, as Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper illustrates just how starkly different the team’s roster is today than it was just four seasons ago.
- Addison Russell’s promotion to the Cubs’ Major League roster could lead to even more whispers that Starlin Castro could (or even should) be traded, yet Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times disagrees. Castro is off to a strong start in 2015 and seems to be ever-improving, not to mention his youth (he’s still just 25) and team-friendly contract.
- Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer underwent tests yesterday to confirm that he suffered nothing more severe than a bruise after being struck in the chest by a Matt Garza fastball when squaring to bunt, writes MLB.com’s Tom Singer. Jung-ho Kang will again start for the Bucs at shortstop today, and GM Neal Huntington again defended the decision to keep Kang on the roster despite a lack of consistent at-bats. “Ten plate appearances, on top of 30 in Spring Training, is an awfully quick rush to judgment in our mind,” said Huntington. “…There would be nothing gained by having him play in the Minor Leagues. The best way for him to get used to hitting Major League pitching is to hit Major League pitching, albeit in a limited role.