Mar 6, 2013; Peoria, AZ, USA; Fiers (64) pitches during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Peoria Sports Complex. (Photo: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

What's Up in the NL Central: 3/26/13

Here’s a few things that caught my eye as I was reading up on our NLC rivals…

Chicago Cubs

What is it about Edwin Jackson that makes teams want him so much? Could it be his durability? He has started 30+ games in each of the past six seasons. Maybe. Could it be because he averages 193 IP in those same six seasons? Possibly.

EJax has a fan in Chicago: Cubbies Crib’s Andrew Denny. He does a good study on what could make Jackson so darn attractive aside from the numbers I have provided. There’s a lot of info here and I do suggest giving it a read especially if you’re one that likes delving into the world of pitcher’s movement, release point and trajectory.

After reading this, you will see why Denny likes the deal Theo & Co. inked Jackson to during the off-season (4 years, $52MM according to Cot’s).

Milwaukee Brewers

The addition of Kyle Lohse now has the Brew Crew re-working their starting rotation. Connor Boyd on Reviewing the Brew has the rotation as follows:

1. Yovani Gallardo
2. Lohse
3. Marco Estrada
4. Chris Narveson
5. Wily Peralta AND Mike Fiers (right)

Yes, there’s two listed in the #5 slot, but Boyd has his reasons.

After the top three, the Brewers are going to be doing a lot of mixing and matching, so why not start the season out with a six-man rotation, having Fiers and Peralta start once every 10 days each, with some bullpen time inbetween to keep their arms active? It’s an experiment worth trying when you’re looking at two candidates both deserving of the job.

Some teams have tried a six-man rotation in the past. Others have contemplated the move. In 2011, Rob Neyer covered this.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Remember yesterday when I spoke of the possibility that the Buccos would have to turn to Jonathan Sanchez as a starter? Well, it seems to now be a reality. Not sure how well Sanchez will fare considering last season (between Kansas City and Colorado) he was 1-9 with an ERA of 8.07 and WHIP of 2.088. Although when you consider he was traded (along with Ryan Verdugo) for Melky Cabrera and then sent to Colorado for Jeremy Guthrie

Seems like Pirates fans are used to poor pitching in the spring and Tom Smith of Rum Bunter has some pretty awful looking numbers from the spring performances of Pirates starters over the past three years.

Oct 19, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Rosenthal (64) throws against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of game five of the 2012 NLCS at Busch Stadium. (Photo: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Cardinals

The news from Cardinals camp that closer Jason Motte will miss some time was a blow to the Cards ‘pen. Until Motte returns, Mitchell Boggs will fill-in during Motte’s absence.

Here’s an interesting take on this from our friends over on Redbird Rats. Ryan Kraemer thinks the Redbirds should turn to an MLB unproven youngster instead of Boggs. Kraemer tells us why the Cards should turn to Trevor Rosenthal. Here’s an excerpt.

Rosenthal is coveted league wide because he can let it fly, even going so far as hitting 100 mph four different times in a recent spring outing. While the radar gun readings are nice, there remains the fact that Rosenthal isn’t a 1 trick pony. His curve and change are equally deadly pitches, and they have aided him in putting together a very respectable strikeout rate (25K, 22.2 IP). While its true strikeouts aren’t everything, as a closer they can be your best friend if you enter a game with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs. Clearly, Rosenthal has proven he pounds the strike zone, can miss bats, and can get the strikeout if that’s what the situation demands.

Rosenthal was impressive in the postseason allowing only a pair of hits and a pair of walks in 8.2 innings (0.462 WHIP) to go along with 15 strikeouts (15.6 SO/9).

A closer that can throw 100? Never heard of such a thing…

Tags: NL Central Spring Training

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