Here’s some news from around the NL Central…
- It’s still possible the Pirates could add another lefty reliever, MLB.com’s Adam Berry writes in a reader mailbag. Tony Watson is one of the game’s best southpaw relievers, but Pittsburgh’s bullpen is otherwise pretty thin on left-handers with Major League experience. Berry opines that the likes of Craig Breslow, Neal Cotts, Sean Marshall, Franklin Morales or Matt Thornton could be fits if the Bucs indeed chose to pursue another southpaw, though it’s also possible they stand pat since they generally don’t use specialists out of the pen.
- Neither J.J. Hoover or Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty had any hard feelings over the arbitration hearing between the two sides, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Hoover won the hearing, meaning he’ll earn $1.4MM in 2016 as opposed to Cincinnati’s $1.225MM figure. “It’s just part of the environment. I am thankful for the experience and seeing the inner workings of this process,” Hoover said, also noting that he “had no idea that so much research and preparation went into a case.”
- The Reds announced the hiring of Lou Piniella to a consulting position as a senior adviser to the team’s baseball operations department. The former manager will also spend time with the club during Spring Training, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Piniella managed the Reds from 1990 to 1992, leading the team to its most recent World Series championship during the ’90 season.
- Something as simple as communication can make all the difference in a young prospect’s development, as Brewers GM David Stearns and newly-hired farm director Tom Flanagan tell Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Each player receives his own specific set or checklist of goals that need to be achieved to reach the majors, in order to make the player’s path as clear as possible. “There’s enough distractions once a player gets to the big leagues,” Flanagan said. “We’re trying to eliminate those that could come up along the way….We don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks.”
- In other NL Central news from earlier today, the Cubs have checked in with the Rays about Tampa Bay’s pitching and outfield surplus.