2025 NL Central News, Notes and Analysis

Discussion in 'The Dugout - OOTP Online League' started by PAgamer07, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    The 2025 season is here. I will be using this to track the action in the NL Central throughout the season and offseason.

    2024 Final Standings

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    2023 Final Standings

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    Analysis

    The 2023 season was the end of the Brewers' domination atop the division. They have since begun their rebuild as evidenced by their horrible 2024 season. Unfortunately for them, it has not been the best tank job. The Reds did a far better job at tanking. Losing will probably be the only thing the Reds do better in this division. The 2023 season also saw the dominance of the division renewed as 5 teams finished with an above .500 record.

    The biggest change for the division had to be the first Division crown for the Cardinals since 2016 when they won it with 91 wins. Since that time they had 5 straight losing seasons. Unfortunately for the rest of the division, only 2 teams finished the 2024 season with winning records with both the Pirates and Cardinals making the playoffs. The Cubs seemed to be the unluckiest of all, losing 9 more games than expected.

    Offensively the Cubs were the best team in the division scoring 746 runs. The worst offensive team in the division was the Pirates scoring a lowly 706 runs. The best pitching staff in the division went to the Cardinals, only allowing 602 runs. The worst was the Brewers allowing 837 runs, which was over 200 more than the Cardinals.

    Have these issues been addressed for the above teams this offseason?


    2024's All-Stars and final 2024 relevant stats

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    RF Edgar Machado (Cubs): .320/.371/.540- 28 HR, 96 runs
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    CF John Alexander (Reds): .320/.418/.575- .993 OPS (injured and only played in 59 games)
    MR Drew Storen (Reds): 73 IP, 3.70 ERA, 1.04 WHIP
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    1B Monty Fuller (MIL): .320/.379/.442- .821 OPS
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    SP Oliviero Sidotti (STL): 14-6, 2.44 ERA, 214 IP, 151 K, 1.13 ERA
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    SP Seriozha Janovich (PIT): 9-6, 2.67 ERA, 162 IP, 169 K, 1.12 WHIP
    CL Amilcar Arauz (PIT): 41 saves, 3.89 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
    CF Santiago Martinez (PIT): .300/.373/.512- 32 HR, 105 Runs, 21 SB

    2024 Award Winners:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    SP Oliviero Sidotti, CF Santiago Martinez, 1B Monty Fuller, C Luis Guerrero- Gold Glove Winners

    2024 Best Players by Position:

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    Analysis:

    2024 saw talent throughout the division. Pitching as mentioned was very strong for both St. Louis and Pittsburgh, and their players consistently littered the leaderboards at the end of the season. On offense the focus for the entire division seems to be defensively at the positions of Catcher, 2B and SS. As outside of one player (C George Hull) none made any leaderboard appearances. Since the demise of Kevan Smith in Milwaukee, the league hasnt seen much in the way of offense at the catcher spot.

    The outfield is deep and talented across the division with a lot of youth moving up through the ranks. And at the 1st base spot, look no further than "Mad Man" and Tim Rivers, the 2023 league MVP.
     
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  2. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    Shaun Mason
    BigSmooth33
    Ryty
    Hova

    Feel free to chime in or post whatever you want in regards to the division. Once preseason hits, I will do a recap of our offseasons. Enjoy the thread ;)
     
  3. Ryty

    Ryty Over the Cap

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    Great post. Should be fun.

    With the Reds and Brewers rebuilding, the Central should be a good three team battle between the Cubs, Pirates and Cards.

    So far, I've tried to address a few needs in the offseason.

    1st signing -

    upload_2013-11-3_10-58-35.png

    Nori "The Blade" Kawaguchi. I hope he can shore up the back of my bullpen. With Sanchez moving back to the closer role and the blade setting him up, I'm hoping they can make every game a 7 inning game.

    2nd singing -

    upload_2013-11-3_11-2-39.png

    Kyle Skipworth. I'm hoping his bat will make up for his lack of defense. It is a huge gamble, but I'm going to try to play him at 1B against RH NL pitching. I need another solid bat in my lineup and I hope he will provide it for me.

    I also added Nathan Eovaldi to compete for my 5th starter job. If I can get Maldonado or Eovaldi to evolve as a decent 5th starter, I can keep Sanchez in the pen.
     

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  4. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    [​IMG]

    Key Offseason Losses: SS Orlando Calixto (FA), SP Andrew Bellatti (FA), 2B Christan Lopes (FA), SP Sixto Bruno (FA), SP Nathan Eovaldi (FA), SP Jesus Rodriguez (Rule V)

    Key Offseason Acquisitions: 2B Dan Davis, SS Eduardo Rice, SP Kyle Gibson

    The Cubs let some quality players go, including their starting middle infield from last year, a quality bullpen arm, and 2 innings eaters at SP. For a team with little to no pitching, the loss of Bellatti makes this team immediately worse than last year's version. They replaced their defensive oriented middle infield from last year with a more offensively focused one. I feel this is an upgrade at the middle infield, but the loss of three quality arms will hurt. The biggest needs were once again not addressed in the offseason, and for that, the Cubs are stuck in mediocrity.

    This team really is stuck spinning their wheels. They really need to do something to improve this team. Their best players are now entering their prime years, and yet the pieces are not around them to help compete. Their system is loaded with pitching prospects, by the time they are ready, their big bats will begin to fade. Perhaps it's time to move one or two for a proven arm to help this team win? Until they do something, they are not going to be very good.

    Offseason Grade: C

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    Key Offseason Losses: LF Roger Key (Rule V), SP Willie Kennedy (Waivers),

    Key Offseason Acquisitions: C Dan Barker (FA), SP Kitahachi Takahishi (FA), OF Larry Brown (FA),

    The Reds had a relatively quiet offseason. The good news is that they did not lose much, although I would argue that Kennedy was a better pitcher than another scrub they paid $1.7 million for one season who I didn't even list because I don't consider him "key". The best addition is the bat of former Pirate Larry Brown. Brown brings a solid bat and defense to the Reds. Unfortunately, this does not bode well for the rotation. They have assembled arguably the worst rotation in the division. I do not expect much out of the Reds again this year.

    Offseason Grade: C


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    Key Offseason Losses: LF Christopher Hawkins (FA), OF Matthew Marquis (FA), OF Larry Brown (FA), SS Derrick Dietrich (FA), SS Garabez Rosa (FA), MR Jake Burnette (FA), CL Amilcar Arauz (FA),

    Key Offseason Acquisitions: OF Robinson Martinez (FA), OF Thomas Avery (FA), OF John Alder (FA), 2B Jesus Amador (FA), MR Robbie Ross (FA)

    The Pirates had one of the worst offseasons in the division. They lost 3 quality bats, their closer with 41 saves in 2024 and a solid setup man. Outisde of Amador, the players brought in to replace them are really not very good. The team with the worst offense in the division last year got worse and this will cost them several wins and end their playoff appearance streak.

    Offseason Grade: F

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    Key Offseason Losses: OF Thomas Garza (FA), 2B Herb Townsley (FA), MR "Vincent Van Go"

    Key Offseason Acquisitions: OF Alonso Morales (Rule 5), CL Nori "The Blade" Kawaguchi (FA), C Kyle Skipworth (FA), SP Nathan Eovaldi (FA)

    An interesting offseason for the Cardinals. The loss of Townsley and his career .390 OBP has to hurt. Although he spent much of 2024 on the DL, this loss should not be overlooked. Tomas Garza also put up a respectable near .800 OPS for the team, and his solid defense I think he will be missed as well. Thankfully they brought in the best closer on the market from the Nippon in "The Blade" as well as one of the best catchers in the Dugout era in Kyle Skipworth.

    I really think these moves are a wash for the Cards. They downgraded their Middle infield and OF, but upgraded at catcher. They upgraded at Closer but lost a solid MR. Will they still win the division? Of course. Perhaps by as many as 20 games. For the first time in years, this division will only have one playoff team. That team is the Cardinals. Unfortunately, they really don't look that much better than last year's version. Will Skipworth add some runs? Probably, but the loss of Townsley and Garza will even out those runs gained.

    Offseason Grade: B-

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Offseason Grade: F-
     
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  5. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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  6. BigSmooth33

    BigSmooth33 Walk On

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    Fucking hate my new ownership... Going to be another year or so before we turn it around I think.
     
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  7. abolishthefed

    abolishthefed Specializing in mediocrity

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    My owner died last year, but his son is pretty much the same type of owner. It worked out well. I would have been screwed if I got stuck with a guy who required payroll to be slashed.
     
  8. Ryty

    Ryty Over the Cap

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    PAgamer07 being generous to the cards with the b-. I missed out on a few targets that may hurt (preseason predictions have me at 82 wins and 4th place!). Nevertheless, great job.
     
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  9. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

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    I lost my #4 starter for the season in Spring Training.
     
  10. Ryty

    Ryty Over the Cap

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    Damn..Is this 3 yrs in a row you've lost a starter early?
     
  11. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    Injury report:

    • The Cubs lose SP Kyle Gibson for the year
    • Pirates lose MR Robbie Ross for the year
    • Reds lose CL Namboku Endo for the season.
    All 3 are big injuries for teams with not much depth.

    Transactions Report:

    • Reds Traded 22-year-old minor league center fielder Armin Schopp to the Los Angeles Angels, getting 26-year-old starting pitcher Raymond MacDonald in return. They also added a PTBNL which sources have leaked that it is SP Dan Cook.
    • Pirates signed free agent SP Alberto Rey to a 1-year contract worth a total of $920,000.

    The Reds trade was a head scratcher. Neither player they aquired is any good. Granted, Schopp was a questionable prospect, one would think they could get something better for him. Really don't like this trade for the Reds and this was the look from teh fan base

    [​IMG]

    The Pirates deal was a no-brainer as with the lack of quality relief arms, and the loss of Ross for the season, they needed to add someone. Looks like Rey is that guy.

    Division News:

    • Fattori Selected NL Player of the Week: There's nothing like being in the prime of your baseball career -- and playing like it. Just ask Italo Fattori, the St. Louis left fielder, who swung a sweet bat all week to not only aid his team, but also pick up the National League Player of the Week honors.Fattori piled up 6 hits in 8 at-bats, 1 home run and 4 RBIs while hitting .750.
    • Cubs win the 1st two games in their series with the Cardinals. One more game left in this one. Interestingly enough, the Cubs have 3 errors in the 1st two games and still won
    • Reds lose 2 of 3 to the Pirates at home, highlighted by a 10-2 drubbing in which the Bucks had 14 hits
    • Brewers have split with the Pirates so far in their 3 game series. The loss had to be a disappointment as SP Jorge Lopez went the distance allowing only 3 runs, but got the loss.

    BigSmooth33
    Shaun Mason
    Ryty
    Hova
    I Peench
     
  12. Hova

    Hova Live Action. YiYiYi!

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    :hungry:



    I always do one of these :rolleyes: when people say YOU COULDA GOT MORE DURRR yea foe who? Peench wouldn't even give me what I originally wanted. If you don't have an amazing prospect you are not getting shit for him. Nobody else would have gave me "more" nobody else even wants him. It's the same deal with every trade, nobody is giving up anything good.

    Might as well trade a guy I will NEVER use in cincy for a starting pitcher.
     
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  13. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    Why did you trade him to begin with? If he was to acquire someone to bolster your rotation you failed. So why not just hold onto him?
     
  14. Hova

    Hova Live Action. YiYiYi!

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    You're saying he is worse than everyone in my current rotation? o_O
     
  15. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    The prospect you dealt had the potential to be good. You could have gotten a guy like that in Free Agency. Probably even better.

    Please tell me what makes MacDonald a good pitcher?
     
  16. Hova

    Hova Live Action. YiYiYi!

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    He has better pitches than ANYONE in my current rotation. He is not GOOD but he is an upgrade. I don't see schopp being good ever either, we shall see.
     
  17. Hova

    Hova Live Action. YiYiYi!

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    Show me the free agent that is better than Macdonald so I can sign him as well, be helpful to a noob. :)
     
  18. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

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    If that guy fills out you are going to feel like a bonehead. MacDonald looks good on paper but hasn't even been good in AA.
     
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  19. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

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    Those ratings don't mean he can put the rubber to the road.
     
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  20. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

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    My starting pitching was atrocious, I committed errors...and still went 5-3...the fuck?
     
  21. Hova

    Hova Live Action. YiYiYi!

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    ya he is not performing great but still has potential to grow, and just did last sim. Schopp was the same way, not hitting at all in the minors.

    if Mac can keep his ERA in the 4 range ill be happy
     
  22. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

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    Start him against me next series please.
     
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  23. Hova

    Hova Live Action. YiYiYi!

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    he should be :)
     
  24. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    He gave up 25 HR in LA. Im pretty sure your park gives up more. Im not doing your homework for you. His track record shows that he is not a quality pitcher.
     
  25. Hova

    Hova Live Action. YiYiYi!

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    link me to the free agent who is better!
     

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