Latest Brewers injury widens gap between Reds and the rest of the NL Central Division

It's gone from bad to worse for the Reds' NL Central foe.

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Devin Williams (38) walks off the mound
Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Devin Williams (38) walks off the mound / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers seem destined to finish in the NL Central basement this season. Even the Pittsburgh Pirates will likely be looking down at the Brew Crew after Milwaukee's most recent injury news.

The Brewers will be without star closer Devin Williams for several months as the right-hander deals with stress fractures in his back. Williams won the Trevor Hoffman Award in 2023; an honor bestowed upon the best reliever in the National League.

Throw this latest injury news onto the top of the pile of bad news for Brewers fans. While Milwaukee re-signed Brandon Woodruff after non-tendering the starter earlier in the offseason, the right-hander will still miss all of the upcoming season. The Brewers also traded former Cy Young Award-winner Corbin Burnes and lost their manager, Craig Counsell.

Latest Brewers injury widens gap between Reds and the rest of the NL Central Division

The Brewers will be battling just to stay relevant in 2024. The Cincinnati Reds, on the other hand, will be looking to take the improvements they made in 2023 and turn them into a playoff run. Cincinnati made a 20-game turnaround last year, and will attempt to make an appearance in the MLB Postseason for the first time since 2020. The Reds haven't won the NL Central Division since 2012.

But the Reds haven't been immune to injuries (or suspensions) this spring. Cincinnati's starting pitcher Nick Lodolo is still recovering from a stress fracture of his own and is likely to begin his 2024 campaign on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville.

The Reds will also be missing Rookie of the Year candidate, Noelvi Marte after the 22-year-old was busted for using performance enhancing drugs. Marte was suspended for the first 80 games of the 2024 season and will be ineligible to play in the postseason if the Reds make a playoff run.

Williams' injury may not only torpedo any chance the Brewers had to compete in 2024, but it could also see Milwaukee's front office begin to shop their star shortstop Willy Adames. The infielder will be a free agent after this season, and plenty of teams will be looking to add Adames' bat to their lineup before the MLB trade deadline later this summer.

With the Brewers all but buried in the NL Central, the Reds will have the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals battling alongside for supremacy in 2024. Though many pundits are dismissing the Pirates, don't be so quick to cast Pittsburgh aside. Oneil Cruz is poised to breakout this season, and the Bucs have an above-average roster.

Still, the Reds have the most talent in the NL Central this season If last year's rookies take a step forward, and the team as a whole can remain healthy, the Reds should be playing baseball in October.

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