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NL Central Notes: Marcum, Kintzler, Axford, Barney, Braun, Burnett

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Here's the latest out of the National League Central:

  • Wittenmyer is also reporting on the continued fallout from the Braun un-suspension, this time covering the sample collector, suggesting the MLB continues to back his work. Personally, I think these collectors have a thankless and potentially dangerous job and they should remain anonymous. I'd hate to think some buffoon hopped up on a little too much Old Milwaukee looking for this poor fella. Yikes.
  • Cardinals Sign Yadier Molina To Five-Year Deal - MLB Daily Dish
  • Bucs Dugout compares the A.J. Burnett orbital bone fracture to previous injuries around the league:

A.J. Burnett's Broken Orbital Bone Not the First - Bucs Dugout
None of these situations are perfectly analogous to Burnett's, of course. Every person is different, and with seven different bones (the ethmoid, frontal, lacrimal, maxillary, palatine, sphenoid, and zygomatic bones) making up the orbital socket, there are many different types of orbital fractures as well. Still, as long as Burnett did not sustain any injury to the eye itself, it seems likely that his injury will be more of a temporary inconvenience for the team than a major stumbling block.

  • Zachary Levine sat down with Houston Astros hitting coach Mike Barnett, discussing Jason Castro, J.D. Martinez, Brian Bogusevic, 2011 first-round pick George Springer, and Jonathan Singlton, among others.
  • Sergio Escalona, the Astros' top left-handed reliever, has been shut down for an MRI on his pitching elbow, according to Levine. It was hyper-extended last week in a hitting drill.
  • Levine also notes that Jimmy Paredes has been cleared to start hitting, but only from the left side while his wrist injury continues to heal.