The Calm Before the Storm in the NL Central?


Major League Baseball is back from the holidays and the Pittsburgh Pirates have to get down to business.   The first big date is looming on Friday, which is the final day for the team to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players.

The Pirates have some decisions to make.  What is exciting is the fact that there will be baseball news this week.  Real baseball news.  So stay tuned, because certainly some of the moves are bound to piss you off.

We think the Pirates will make the most roster moves, while teams ahead of them in the NL Central will mainly stand pat this offseason.  The Reds aren’t going to make any major moves, the Cardinals just get better with age while the Brewers seem the most likely to address their roster.

We will keep an eye out for you.  Until then, we found these articles which may be of interest.

Matt Sullivan of MLB Daily Dish has Pirates right hander Jeff Inman listed in his ‘Five Intriguing Rule 5 Picks’ post.

Jeff  Inman: Pittsburgh Pirates

Inman is typical of the type of player that can be found through the Rule 5 draft. He has good stuff and throws hard, with a mid 90’s fastball, but he has struggled with shoulder and elbow issues and his performance has never really matched the promise of his stuff. He finished a healthy 2012 season with two promising appearance in Arizona Fall League Games, though and despite his injury history, the velocity and stuff is still there. He made one start last year but pitched primarily in relief at AA Altoona. He is a player that a team could dream on, hoping that they could turn his intriguing stuff into actual performance with shot at relief work at the major league level.

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* Gregory Polanco has soared up the prospect lists this year, but is struggling in winter league action with nine strikeouts, no walks, and six hits in his limited 30 at-bats.   While Starling Marte has posted an .845 OPS.

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* David Schoenfield of Sweet Spot has five blockbuster trade suggestions, none involve the Bucs.

 

What follows next is the calmness that is Thanksgiving week around the NL Central.  The Pirates aren’t the only teams doing nothing.  So get fired up, there will actually be baseball news this week, not just Andrew McCutchen photo shoots!

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* The Dayton Dragons contiue to dominant minor league baseball.    The next time you are in Bradenton, West Virginia, Altoona, or Indianapolis and you find yourself surrounded by empty seats as we were so often this season, think about Dayton–they have 913 straight sellouts.    We told you about this book before, it has a lot to do with the success of the Dayton franchise and if you’re into sports it’s a great read with a foreward by Mark Cuban.

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* Reviewing the Brew believes the Brewers should feast on the Marlins carcass.   In particular they are interested in Ricky Nolasco and Steve Cishek.

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* The Cubs 40-man is set check it out at Cubbies Crib

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*It’s quiet in St. Louis. 

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