Central Intelligence: Recap of Division for Week of June 2

We are into the third month of the season and with five weeks until the All Star break, things are starting to normalize a bit.

Chicago Cubs

  • The Cubs went 5-2 this week and are in a tie for first at 36-27.
  • The much-maligned bullpen got a huge addition in the form of free agent (still?!) Craig Kimbrel, who signed for three years at a guarantee of $43 million.
  • The month of May might have been the best Kyle Hendricks has ever looked in his career. In six starts, he posted a 1.81 ERA, including an 81-pitch complete game against the Cardinals.
  • Javy Báez’s 1st-inning home run Friday was the 100th for the Cubs this year in just their 62nd game, a franchise record for fastest to 100 home runs in a season.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • The Crew went 4-2 this week, putting them at 37-28.
  • Keston Hiura was sent down in favor of Travis Shaw, kind of an egregious service-time move since Hiura cracked five homers in his short stint.
  • Jimmy Nelson’s was not a good one. Against the Marlins on Wednesday, he lasted only three innings, giving up four earned runs and walking three. The Brewers lost 8-3.
  • Zach Davies now has just a 2.41 ERA after beating the Pirates on Saturday. His breakout has been a big boost for Milwaukee’s rotation.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • The Birds went 2-3 this week and are right at .500 (31-31).
  • There was a bit of a scary moment on Friday, as Miles Mikolas took a line drive off the arm against the Cubs. He left the game after just four innings.
  • One guy quietly flying under the radar is John Gant. In 29 games, he has a 1.64 ERA with 35 K’s in 33 innings. He has been a constant in a very inconsistent bullpen.
  • The first two starts for Genesis Cabrera have not been great. He has lost them both and pitched to a 6.48 ERA, failing to complete five innings in either.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • After a 2-4 week, the Bucs have slipped below .500 at 31-33.
  • Top prospect Cole Tucker was sent back down to Triple-A after really struggling in the majors, hitting just .196.
  • Rookie Davis made his first start for the Pirates on Friday night. He lasted just three innings, giving up only three runs and walking five. Davis is notable for being a piece in the Aroldis Chapman trade to the Yankees back in 2016.
  • Rookie Bryan Reynolds is hitting .348 with a current 16-game hitting streak.

Cincinnati Reds

  • A 1-4 week keeps the Reds further from .500 at 28-35.
  • Tucker Barnhart has struggled offensively, slashing .197/.294/.331. He won a Gold Glove last year and got a long contract extension from the Reds, so defense is his main focus.
  • Amir Garrett has definitely found his niche. A 1.69 ERA as a late-inning reliever will set up a nice career.
  • It was a rough week for Eugenio Suarez, who went just 5-for-28 with no home runs or extra base hits.
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