The Cubs have finished in fifth place in the NL Central in each of the last five seasons. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is ready to see his club get out of the basement, telling Cubs season ticket holders that “our goal in 2015 is to win the National League Central,” as MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.
It’s not outlandish to think that the Cubs could break out in the NL Central. The 2014 season saw a youth infusion, as Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, and Arismendy Alcantara made their major league debuts. Top prospects Kris Bryant (the 2014 Minor League Player of the Year), Addison Russell, and C.J. Edwards could get the call in 2015. 25-year-old first baseman Anthony Rizzo just had a breakout season while Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arrieta each performed remarkably well on the mound. Hector Rondon was quite reliable at the back end of the bullpen. The pieces are obviously all there, or at least they will be very, very soon.
The Kansas City Royals just announced that Ned Yost will retire following the final game of the season. Mike Matheny will take over as the Royals manager for the 2020 season.
Yost, 65, led the Royals to victory in the 2015 World Series and to back-to-back American League pennants in 2014 and 2015. He will retire as the winningest manager in Royals history. In ten years at the helm in Kansas City he is 744-836 with five games remaining. Before he managed the Royals he managed the Milwaukee Brewers for six seasons, compiling a 457-502 record. In all, he is 1,201-1,338. When he’s done on Sunday he will finish 32nd all-time in games managed with 2,544.
The Royals now will look for the man who will, hopefully, see the current rebuild through. Multiple reporters have cited former St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as Yost’s likely replacement. He currently serves as a special advisor in the club’s player development department. He managed the Cards from 2012-18, winning the NL pennant in 2013 and finishing with a record of 591-474 in St. Louis.
Here is the Royals official statement on Yost’s retirement: