The Brewers began the season with just about the lowest payroll in baseball, which makes the team’s charge into playoff contention all the more surprising, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. Despite spending far less on players than the other contenders, the Brew Crew entered today three games out of both a wild card spot and first place in the NL Central. Here’s the latest from around the National League.
- Braves youngster Ronald Acuna blossomed into one of the game’s best prospects this season, and Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser (subscription required) outlines how Atlanta was able to sign the talented and surprisingly unheralded outfielder in 2014 for a mere $100K bonus. Interestingly, Acuna said that he was expecting to sign with the Royals before the Braves upped their offer to that $100K, and thus Acuna simply went with the highest bidder.
- Rio Ruiz is hitting well in September and hoping to work himself into the third base picture for the Braves next season, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. The rookie still has just a .604 OPS over 119 total plate appearances this year, largely due to a nasty slump that led to his demotion earlier in the season, though Ruiz feels he has improved his work both at the plate and especially in the field. Third base stands out as a clear area of need for the Braves in 2018, though it remains to be seen if the team will make a veteran acquisition or if they’ll stick to the rebuilding plan and continue giving playing time to Ruiz, Johan Camargo or other internal options.
- Starling Marte talks to ESPN.com’s Marly Rivera (also, here is the link to the interview in its original Spanish) about his life, career and how he is trying to come back from the 80-game PED suspension that marred both his season and his reputation. The Pirates outfielder said he still doesn’t know how nandrolone got into his system, though ultimately, “it was my mistake” for not being careful about everything he ingested.