View From The Opposing Dugout


Today, Cubbies Crib unveils its newest series. This newest series will be labeled “View from the opposing dugout”. Each Monday we will take a look at what is making news for the 5 other teams in the National League Central, and provide are spin on such news. Without farther ado, let’s get rolling with our “View from the opposing dugout” series.

Blog Red Machine (Cincinnati Reds) takes a look at the renewed rivalry between the St Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds. If you remember, the Reds and Cardinals battled each other for first place in the division late into the season last year. One of main highlights that comes from the Reds and Cardinals rivalry in 2010 was the brawl that took place between the two teams late in the season. Alex Apple,  of Blog Red Machine, writes that the Cardinals face chemistry issues, which will hinder their chances of winning the division.

As Alex alluded to, the Cardinals do have their fair share of chemistry issues. I also do not think the addition of Lance Berkman will help the Cardinals, due to his age and his stability. I was also a bit surprised to see Tony La’Russa return to the Cardinals, as it was evident that he lost control of that team when the season concluded. Because of their pitching, and strong core, I would have to label the Reds as the favorites heading into the season.

Climbing Tal’s Hill (Houston Astros) ranks the outfields of the National League Central. They rank the Cardinals as having the best outfield followed by the Astros, Brewers, Pirates, Reds, and Cubs bringing up the rear. It is hard to say what exactly they are ranking by because I do not consider the Cardinals outfield to be the best offensively, or defensively. If you were doing strictly off of Defense, I would say that the Astros would be he best outfield unit. But if their rankings were based off of offense, then the Brewers would have to get the notion as the division’s best outfield.  While Marlon Byrd is an excellent fielder in center field, I do agree with their assessment of the Cubs having the worst outfield in the division.

Reviewing the Brew (Milwaukee Brewers) takes a brief look at the Brewers and Prince Fielder agreeing to a one year, $15.5 million contract thus avoiding arbitration. This is not the biggest news of course, but it would seem as if they are already resigned to the fact that Fielder will not be back next season. Which is probably true, as he will likely net a contract that pays him over $100MM. The Cubs may be in the bidding for Fielder if they opt not to re-sign Carlos Pena.

Rum Bunter (Pittsburgh Pirates) highlights the Pirates Caravan, which begins today. They feel that the Pirates Caravan is very much necessary in order to create revenue for the team, as well as to create interest in the Pirates. The latter of which may be a difficult task. I actually admire what the Pirates are doing. This off-season they have really tried to be competitive in free agency, and tried to show to their fans that they are focused on winning. Much like Cubs fans look forward to the Cubs Caravan and Cubs Convention, I’m sure there is an overwhelming amount of Pirates fans that look forward to these events for the Pirates.

Redbird Rants (St Louis Cardinals) asks the question is the starting pitching the National League Central the best in all of baseball? They feel it is toss up between the National League East, and the National League West as far as what division has the best starting pitching.  It really is a tough call, but I would have to say that the National League East has the best starting pitching in all of baseball. Obviously the Phillies are dominant with Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels; but the National League East also features Tim Hudson, Johan Santana, Josh Johnson, as well as Stephen Strasburg when he returns to action.

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Tags: Carlos Pena Chicago Cubs Cininnati Reds Cliff Lee Cole Hamels Houston Astros Johan Santana Josh Johnson Lance Berkman Marlon Byrd Milwaukee Brewers Pittsburgh Pirates Prince Fielder Roy Halladay Roy Oswalt St. Louis Cardinals Stephen Strasburg Tim Hudson Tony La Russa

  • Rob Meyer

    That was a great article on Blog Red Machine about the Reds Cardinals. There could be a major swing around of players next year in the NL Central with Pujols and Fielder both leaving. Also Carpenter may be gone for the Cardinals. The Pirates always have turn around and I question whether Aramis Ramirez will be back.

    • Jordan Campbell

      I think you are completely right. I think it is a certainty that Fielder is leaving the Brewers, but it really is unknown with Pujols and the Cardinals. Either way, the Reds have sort of laid the foundation of what every team in this division is going to have to do in order to compete.

  • Ray DeRousse

    The chemistry issues are almost entirely of LaRussa’s doing, and until he’s gone, the problems will remain no matter how many 35 year old veterans they sign.

    However, they play in a weak division. I completely disagree about the Reds; I think we will see a regression to the mean this year in several of their key players last year (like Votto in particular). The Cardinals will be in the hunt due to this and (possibly) some more potent offensive threats.

    But if Freese’s ankles give out, there will be major problems for them.

    Redbirdrants.com

    • Jordan Campbell

      I think Berkman and even the Chemistry issues for the St Louis Cardinals are very minor for this season. I think if Carpenter stays healthy along with Wainright, then they will be right in the mix for the division with the Reds. I have teeter tottered with the Reds this winter, on one hand I think they will continue their success, but on the other it is the Reds and Dusty Baker we are talking about. Regardless, it will be fun watching the Reds and Cardinals as well as the Brewers contend for the division crown.