NL Central Notes: Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs

The Cardinals are hopeful that Steven Matz will return from his stint on the injured list soon, but when he does, it will be as a reliever, per’s John Denton (via Twitter). There simply isn’t time remaining in the season to build him back up as a starter. The switch is partly because of Matz, but also due to the expectation that Jack Flaherty will return to the rotation potentially next Wednesday or the following weekend, writes Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Not to mention, deadline acquisitions Jose Quintana and Jordan Montgomery have excelled in the rotation since their arrival. In the bullpen, Matz can provide manager Oliver Marmol with another weapon from the left side to augment current southpaws Genesis Cabrera and JoJo Romero. Elsewhere in the NL Central…

  • Deadline acquisition Trevor Rosenthal left his latest appearance in Triple-A with lat soreness, per’s Adam McCalvy (via Twitter). Picking up Rosenthal was certainly a bit of a lottery ticket for the Brewers, given that Rosenthal hasn’t pitched since 2020. Rosenthal has begun to show shades of his former self, posting a 1.90 ERA over 23 2/3 innings with the Royals and Padres. The hits, however, keep coming for Rosenthal, who suffered a hamstring strain before the lat injury, which all came while recovering from thoracic outlet surgery.
  • The Cubs will be looking to add power this offseason, writes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. That certainly tracks for a team with a middle infield consisting of Nico Hoerner and Nick Madrigal, both of whom boast contact-first profiles at the dish. Hoerner has stepped up this season, both on the field and from a leadership perspective, making himself a key part of the Cubs’ future. Madrigal has had a less memorable campaign, but he may yet establish himself as the second baseman of the future. The power will have to come from somewhere, however, especially with Willson Contreras slated for free agency. Contreras’ 20 home runs rank second on the team behind Patrick Wisdom’s 22, and the long-time catcher is the team leader in isolated power with a .222 ISO.

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