Nine Brewers players will compete for the center field job, as Adam McCalvy of MLB.com writes. Newcomers Keon Broxton, Ramon Flores, Rymer Liriano, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Alex Presley, and Eric Young Jr. will vie for the opportunity alongside holdover such as Shane Peterson and top prospects Michael Reed and Brett Phillips over the course of Spring Training.
“It’s the center field job, and then it’s kind of the roster puzzle that you’re trying to figure out,” manager Craig Counsell said. “They’re related, certainly. There’s a number of players, and to go through all the scenarios now seems like a waste of time. You let it go, and it kind of narrows itself a little bit, and roster decisions become a little more clear, and the make-up of the roster starts to make sense. Other pieces might affect that. So, there’s a lot of moving parts on it. There’s a number of players who have an opportunity there.”
While we wait to see how the competition plays out, here’s more out of the NL Central:
- The Reds are being very cost conscious right now and GM Dick Williams says the motivation is to improve the team in the long run, as Mark Sheldon of MLB.com writes. “We’re not saving to create a profit, we’re saving to invest in the future, for sure,” Williams said. “We’ve got the biggest amateur signing pool this year, when you combine domestic and international. We want to take full advantage of it. Obviously, there’s a lot of operational investments we’ll make as well. I talked about investing in the analytics and sports science. We’ll be investing in personnel, scouting personnel, new player development initiatives. I’ll be talking a lot about that over the course of this year as we roll things out, but we’ll put that money [to] work for sure.”
- Williams says nothing is close on the Reds possibly trading Jay Bruce or signing Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez, as John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Rodriguez had previously been reported to have agreed to a bonus-pool-shattering $6MM agreement with the Reds, but president of baseball ops Walt Jocketty shot down those rumors shortly after they broke, and there’s been little in terms of new developments between the Reds and Rodriguez’s camp over the past month.
- After just one year in MLB, Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang is already setting an example for Korean players making the transition to the states, as Adam Berry of MLB.com writes. Kang, a teammate of new Twins DH Byung Ho Park in Korea, has helped to forge a path for Park and countryman Hyun Soo Kim, Berry writes. Kim, a longtime friend of Kang, explained to Berry that Kang’s success has instilled a sense of responsibility in him, stating that he has to carry on the example set by Kang in 2015 to show that elite Korean players can succeed in Major League Baseball.