A glance at the NL Central, position by position

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It has hit, that time in the offseason that the “itch” really starts to show up.  The convention is over and Spring Training is still a couple of weeks away, although it seems like a lifetime.  Even when it does begin and you have those first couple of weeks where you know that the pitchers and catchers are there, it’s still not very exciting.  Not to mention this year’s “Hot Stove” has been “lukewarm”, and that’s putting it lightly.  So I figured something like this might get a little “discussion” going and hopefully I will have a little time to sit down and break each position down with the numbers involved and see which team, on paper, would be the team to beat this year.  But until then, feel free to give your thoughts.

I will list each position, and then list the projected starter of each team in that position. I will put the backup in (*)

CATCHER

Cubs: W. Castillo (Navarro, Clevenger)

Cardinals: Y. Molina (T. Cruz)

Brewers: J. Lucroy (M. Maldanado)

Reds:  R. Hanigan (D. Mesoraco)

Pirates: R. Martin (M. McKenry)

 

FIRST BASE

Cubs:  Rizzo (no backup listed on depth chart, although Clevenger has a .996 fielding % in his games there in the minors)

Cardinals:  A. Craig (M. Carpenter, T. Wigginton)

Brewers: C. Hart (no backup listed on depth chart)

Reds: J. Votto (T. Frazier)

Pirates: G. Jones (G. Sanchez, C. Robinson)

 

SECOND BASE

Cubs: Barney (no backup listed on depth chart)

Cardinals: D. Descaiso (M. Carpenter, P. Kozma)

Brewers: R. Weeks (no backup listed on depth chart)

Reds: B. Phillisp (J. Hannahan, J. Donald)

Pirates: N. Walker (J. harriosn, I. DeJesus)

 

THIRD BASE

Cubs: Stewart (L. Valbuena, J. Vitters)

Cardinals: D. Freese (M. Carpenter, T. Wigginton)

Brewers: A. Ramirez (T. Green)

Reds:  T. Frazier (J. Hannahan, J. Donald, H. Rodriguez)

Pirates: P. Alvarez (J. Harrison)

 

SHORTSTOP

Cubs: Castro (Barney)

Cardinals: R. Furcal (Kozma, Descaiso)

Brewers: J. Seguna (J. Bianchi)

Reds: Z. Cozard (J. Donald)

Pirates: C. Barmes (J. Mercer, C. d’Arnaud)

 

LEFT FIELD

Cubs: Soriano (Sappelt)

Cardinals: Holliday (M. Carpenter, A. Craig)

Brewers: R. Braun (N. Aoki)

Reds: R. Ludwick (Heisey, Fraiser, X. Paul)

Pirates: S. Marte, (J. Tabata, A. Presley)

 

CENTER FIELD

Cubs: DeJesus (Jackson, Campana)

Cardinals: J. Jay (Robinson, Chambers)

Brewers: C. Gomez (Aoki)

Reds:  S. Choo (Heisey)

Pirates: McCutchen (Harrison, Presley)

 

RIGHT FIELD

Cubs: Schierholz/Harriston platoon (DeJesus)

Cardinals: Beltran (Craig, Carpenter)

Brewers: Aoki (Hart)

Reds: J. Bruce (Heisey)

Pirates: T. Snider (G. Jones, J. Sands)

 

CLOSERS

Cubs: Marmol

Cardinals: Motte

Brewers: Axford

Reds: Broxton

Pirates: Grilli

 

STARTING ROTATION

Cubs: SAMARDZIJA, GARZA, E. JACKSON, S. BAKER, S. FELDMAN, T. WOOD

Cardinals:  WAINWRIGHT, CARPENTER, WESTBROOK, LYNN, J. GARCIA, S. MILLER

Brewers: Y. GALLARDO, ESTRADA, W. PERALTA, M. FIERS, M. ROGERS, C. NARVESON

Reds: J. CUETO, B. ARROYO, M. LATOS, H. BAILEY, M. LEAKE, A. CHAPMAN

Pirates: A. BURNETT, J. McDONALD, W. RODRIGUEZ, J. LOCKE, J. KARSTENS

 

BULLPEN

Cubs: K. Fujikawa, S. Camp, J. Russell, M. Bowden,  A. Cabrera, R. Dolis, C. Rusin, H. Rondon, C. Villanueva

Cardinals: M. Boggs, M. Rzepczynski, R. Choate, F. Salas, T. Rosenthal, E. Mujica, S. Freeman, V. Marte, J. Kelly, J. Rondon

Brewers: T. Gorzelanny, M. Gonzalez, J. Henderson, B. Badenhop, B. Kintzler, J. Sanchez, J. Stinson

Reds: S. Marshall, S. Lecure, J. Arredondo, A. Simon, J. Hoover, N. Masset, L. Ondrusek, T. Cingrani, P. Villarreal, T. Redmond

Pirates: M. Melancon, T. Watson, J. Hughes, J. Wilson, C. Leroux, K. McPherson, B. Morris

 

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There you go, Ladies and Gentlemen.  The 200 players that currently make up the NL Central for 2013.  It’s early, and I’m sure that there will be quite a few changes to them before Opening Day, but if the season were to begin today, and without really looking into the stats and numbers of each player and each position, here are some thoughts about it off the top of my head.

1.  If healthy, the Cardinals and Reds rotations are very intimidating.

2.  The Brewers seem to have the same problem the Cubs have, as far as holes in their depth, very little infield backup.  If Cory Hart or Rickie Weeks get hurt, they may have a bit of a problem.  Also, I can’t see either of them being healthy enough to last 162 games.

3  I think I know more about most of the other players on the other teams in the Central’s roster than I do the Cubs! (Yikes!)…okay, slight exaggeration, but there is a LOT of new names to learn on The Cubs this year!

4.  Everytime I see Jon Jay’s name, I still hear the song ” John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” go through my head, over and over and over again!

5.  Speaking of songs, does anyone else think of “Sunglasses at Night” when they see Cory Hart?  (Or is that too old for the readers? 🙂 )

6.There are some pretty solid closers in the NL Central!

7. The Brewers are very heavy on the pitching, but not so much in the field.

8.  I HATE that Wandy Rodriguez is now with the Pirates.  I was hoping to be rid of him with the Astros this year!

9. Just glancing at this, as much as it pains me to say it, I would say the Cardinals have the advantage in most of the positions.

10. Just writing this up, it made my offseason blues itch even worse!

 

So, what are your thoughts?

About ryno4ever

I'm a 3rd generation Cub fan who lives and breathes with this team! I've ridden the roller coaster of Cubdom since 1984. I've celebrated the highs, I've cried for days on the lows. I have a teenage son who I have blessed/cursed him with the Cubbie Blue blood. On April 1, 2011, my son, dad and I were chosen to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day at Wrigley Field and I'm pretty sure that there isn't much else out there in life that will ever top that day!

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