Central Intelligence: A Look Around the Division for the Week of 2/19

Spring Training has kicked off in full force, as every team started games this week. Games will continue for a little over a month before the season officially kicks off on April 2nd. There was a lot of action across the NL Central, so here’s a quick look around the week that was in the division.

Chicago Cubs

  • Played two split-squad games, with team 1 losing to the Giants 8-6 and team 2 defeating the A’s, 4-3.
  • Mike Montgomery and Rob Zastryzny started the games, pitching one inning each.
  • Re-signed Pedro Strop to a $5.85M contract extension for 2018 with a $6.25M club option for 2019.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Lost their first Spring Training game, 8-7 against the Marlins.
  • Dexter Fowler scored twice, along with two walks atop the Cardinals order.
  • Signed Cuban outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Swept their first two split-squad games, 6-2 over the Orioles and 7-2 over the Rays.
  • Gregory Polanco paced the Buccos, going 3-3 with 2 RBI, not bad for the first time seeing in-game pitching in months.
  • Set the first three members of their rotation for 2017. Ace Gerrit Cole leads the way, followed by young hotshot Jameson Taillon and Ivan Nova.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • Got shut out in their first Spring game, dropping a 2-0 decision against the Angels.
  • One bright spot was the Brewers pitching. As a collective staff, they only gave up five hits over 8 innings, with six strikeouts.
  • Played an exhibition game with UW-Milwaukee, winning 11-0.

Cincinnati Reds

  • Dropped their first two spring games, 6-4 to the Giants on Thursday and 8-2 to the defending American League Champions Cleveland Indians.
  • Tagged a few runs on Madison Bumgarner in one inning of work.
  • Eugenio Suarez was a bright spot, going 2-3 with a home run against the Indians.
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