Here’s the latest from around the NL Central…
- The Reds have dismissed pitching coach Mark Riggins, as per a club announcement. Bullpen coach Mack Jenkins will take over the job, with Triple-A pitching coach Ted Power moving up to replace Jenkins in the pen. Cincinnati is at or near the bottom of every notable pitching category this season, and their pitching as a whole has been worth a cumulative -3.9 fWAR. This was Riggins’ first season as the Reds’ pitching coach after four years as the organization’s minor league pitching coordinator, and he hardly came into a comfortable situation — not only were the rebuilding Reds going with a young rotation, but injuries hit nearly every member of the staff.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak isn’t yet sure what his team will target at the deadline, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch writes. “I haven’t been knee deep in the reliever market,” Mozeliak said, though that could stand out as the most clear area of need for St. Louis. Langosch notes that the Cards could address their bullpen from within by using Triple-A starters Alex Reyes and Mike Mayers as relievers to break them into the big leagues.
- The bullpen is the only “real problem” facing the Cubs, ESPN.com’s Jesse Rogers opines. The rotation and lineup have had some recent issues, though those can be excused by injuries or perhaps simply some expected regression after the Cubs’ blazing-hot start to the season. The relief corps, on the other hand, needs some depth, as “even a casual observer can see that manager Joe Maddon only has faith in a few guys, because only a few guys are worthy of it.” Chicago is known to be scouting for bullpen upgrades, particularly the Yankees’ big relief trio of Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances.
- Will Middlebrooks’ minor league deal with the Brewers included an assignment clause for July 1, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy writes. Milwaukee was required to offer the third baseman to the other 29 teams if Middlebrooks wasn’t on the big league roster by July 1, and given how the Brewers purchased his contract yesterday, McCalvy figures at least one team had interest in Middlebrooks’ services.