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
Miami Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park on July 16, 2017 in Miami, Florida. /

St. Louis Cardinals – 2017 Record: 83-79

If there’s a team in the Central that’s making a push, it’s the St. Louis Cardinals. And sadly, they didn’t have to give up much to get Marcell Ozuna in trade. The Cards also signed Luke Gregerson so help anchor the later innings, while adding Miles Mikolas to the starting rotation. While his time initially was highlighted by this, he went to Japan and transformed himself into a solid starter.

If I’ve learned anything as a Cubs’ fan, it’s not to doubt the Cardinals. While the lineup doesn’t seem all that impressive, it isn’t that bad. But after signing Yadier Molina to an extension, does he have much left in the tank? And Randal Grichuk has come to a crossroads, needing to show the Cardinals he’s got the ability to perform. He’s out of options–and could be DFA’s if he doesn’t get the job done.

The Cards have a solid duo in Carlos Martinez and Luke Weaver. Adam Wainwright might be nearing the end, but he’s going to give it one last shot. Matt Carpenter is a man without a home, but third base will likely be his position to start the year. The Cardinals have indeed improved, but have they done enough to take the Central?