Theo Epstein: “Our goal in 2015 is to win the National League Central”

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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.

Red Sox hire Jerry Narron as bench coach

Jerry Narron
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The Red Sox announced that Jerry Narron will be the team’s bench coach this year.

Narron will join interim manager Ron Roenicke in the dugout to lead Boston’s coaching staff. The two previously worked together in the same roles from 2011 to 2015, during Roenicke’s tenure as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. Narron most recently spent the last three years as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks. He also has managerial experience with both the Rangers (2001-2002) and Reds (2005-2007).

The Mets reportedly considered hiring Narron this winter as a possible bench coach for then-manager Carlos Beltran, before ultimately going with Hensley Meulens.

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