If you stop and take a look up and down the National League Central, it's really an interesting division. There is one fewer team than there was last year, the Milwaukee Brewers had such a good second half in 2012 that it makes you wonder, the Chicago Cubs have some good young players to watch, the St. Louis Cardinals are normally pretty good, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are interesting if for nothing more than to see if they can sustain success long-term. Let's get you all caught up on the happenings around the league.
Melt-down on the way out?
Carlos Marmol has created something of a reputation for himself. The once prized closer has become about as unpredictable as they come. He seems more inclined to blow a save than to protect a lead. This is why the Cubs tried to trade him to the Angels for Dan Haren, and this is why they are shopping him now. Or are they? Rumors were flying regarding the Cubs' closer, but some think the Cubs may not be ready to trade him just yet.
Marmol posted a decent enough 3.41 ERA last season, but he managed just 20 saves for the Cubs. Part of that has to do with opportunities, but the fact is Marmol seems to crumble in pressure situations. The Cubs have already expressed an interest in dealing him, so a trade is likely imminent.
Rafael Furcal's injury is to the point where the Cardinals may be giving up on their veteran shortstop. The club is looking for alternate options as Furcal's elbow continues to give him trouble.
Furcal is getting a second opinion on his elbow since the injury does not seem to be getting any better. Dr. James Andrews will look at the elbow, but things don't look too promising. The Cardinals are already planning on life without Furcal for the time being. St. Louis managed to get by alright last season when Furcal first injured the elbow, but they would like to have a long-term solution at short rather than a short-term plug.
Related: Get all your Cardinals news here
This is a story that may have fell under the radar. Bobby Crosby, son of Ed Crosby, is not quite done playing yet. The 33-year old has not played in the Majors since 2010, but he is still young enough to have an impact on a team. Crosby is 33 years old and originally retired because he wasn't making it any longer.
Crosby was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2004 for the Oakland Athletics. He had a decent enough career to stick around for eight seasons in the Majors. When he finally called it a career, Brosby had a batting line that was certainly not the worst, but failed to inspire confidence. He hit .236/.304/.677 in his career. Now, he's giving it another shot.
He made his debut Tuesday and went 0-for-1. The non-roster invitee for the Brewers is hoping for one last shot in the Majors. He was happy at home, but his father convinced him to give it another go.