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NL Central News and Notes: Alvarez, Chapman, Barmes

NL Central Standings

Milwaukee 96 66 .592 0 Lost 2
St. Louis 90 72 .555 6 Won 1
Cincinnati 79 83 .487 17 Lost 1
Pittsburgh 72 90 .444 24 Lost 2
Chicago 71 91 .438 25 Lost 1
Houston 56 106 .345 40 Lost 2(updated 10.6.2011 at 3:42 PM PDT)

Pirates Prospects " Should the Pirates Trade Pedro Alvarez?
The idea of trading Alvarez might be appealing coming off his 2011 season.

Reds sending Aroldis Chapman to winter ball to work as a starter | HardballTalk
Aroldis Chapman has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen since debuting with Cincinnati in August of last season, but the Reds are now sending the flamethrowing left-hander to winter ball in order to build up arm strength to join the rotation next year.

Clint Barmes Should Be Extended - The Crawfish Boxes
The shortstop is a free agent, but the Astros should try to bring him back.

The Cubs are a General Managers Dream | Fire Brand of the American League
Earlier this week, I wrote how the actions of ownership maybe a strong reason Theo Epstein wants out of Boston, but what reason would he have to make Chicago his new home?

Five A Good Number For Yovani Gallardo
Over 33 career starts and 215.2 innings on five days rest, Gallardo has a 20-5 record and a 2.30 ERA, and the success doesn’t stop with the traditional, surface-scratching statistics.

The Most Influential Player in This Year's Playoffs is...Edwin Jackson? | October
Cardinals pitcher Edwin Jackson has inadvertently had a greater impact on the 2011 playoffs than any other player.