Chicago Cubs: Assessing the progress of the Central Division

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Milwaukee Brewers – 2017 Record: 86-76

The Milwaukee Brewers just didn’t have it in them to finish the Cubs in 2017. It seemed as if once they lost Jimmy Nelson, they were doomed to fail. But the Crew still put together an excellent season under Craig Counsell. The addition of Travis Shaw and Eric Thames turned out to be a steal, and Corey Knebel was as good as they can get in 2017.

But have the Brewers done enough in this offseason to compete with the Cubs and the Cardinals? As I shake my Magic 8-Ball, “outlook not so good.” The Brewers has added a former Brewers in Yovani Gallardo, as well as Jhoulys Chacin to the rotation. Both will bring stability, but not enough to offset the loss of Nelson.

They also added Boone Logan and J.J. Hoover, the latter who will be an NRI at camp. But Logan was hurt the last part of 2017, and Hoover has struggled in his time in the majors. Minus one solid season in 2015 (8-2, 2.94), it’s been a rough go of it for Hoover. This offense has the potential to score runs in bunches, but the pitching staff might not be able to hold off the other team’s offense.