Time will tell whether the Brewers can follow the Cubs’ path back to contention, but it would help if Brewers GM David Stearns ended up with Theo Epstein’s trade record, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. The Cubs acquired Anthony Rizzo, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks and Addison Russell in a series of terrific trades. They’ve also added Jon Lester, Jason Heyward, John Lackey and Ben Zobrist via the free agent market, but the smaller-payroll Brewers won’t be able to depend on a similar infusion of talent. Here’s more from the NL Central.
- The Reds are still hoping for the returns of several key injured players, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes. Zack Cozart (knee soreness), Billy Hamilton (oblique strain), Homer Bailey (biceps tenderness) and Cody Reed (back tightness) are all currently unavailable, but of the four, only Reed has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Bailey threw a bullpen session Sunday, and Cozart and Hamilton are both rehabbing their injuries. Of course, there’s little time left for them to return, and manager Bryan Price characterizes the likelihood of a Hamilton return as “improbable,” but he wants to keep the door open. “The easy thing is to shut down — that’s the easiest thing in the world is to shut everyone down,” says Price. “However, that’s not a culture that we really want to build here. … And unless these guys are deemed incapable of playing, they should be working hard to get back on the field and I think they are.”
- The Pirates could still theoretically win a playoff berth, but if their remote postseason chances do evaporate, their distribution of playing time is unlikely to chance much, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. “Look at the at-bats that Adam Frazier and Josh Bell are getting, look at the innings that (Jameson) Taillon, (Steve) Brault and now (Tyler) Glasnow are getting, and (Felipe) Rivero is an anchor in our bullpen,” says GM Neal Huntington. “We don’t feel like we’ve got a veteran who’s taking innings or at-bats from a young player that necessarily we would change if we were to get eliminated.” Huntington does allow that Glasnow could get a turn in the Bucs’ rotation before the end of the season.