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NL Central: Spring training capsules

Cincinnati Reds

Manager: Dusty Baker (sixth season).

2012: 97-65, first place, lost in division series.

Training Town: Goodyear, Ariz.

He’s Here: OF Shin-Soo Choo, INF Jack Hannahan, LHP Manny Parra, C Miguel Olivo.

He’s Outta Here: OF Drew Stubbs, INF Wilson Valdez, LHP Bill Bray, RHP Ryan Madson, C Dioner Navarro, INF Miguel Cairo.

Going campin’: The Reds have brought their division title team back mostly intact. The biggest change is in CF, where Choo replaces the strikeout-prone Stubbs, part of a three-team trade in the offseason. Choo is likely a one-year fix at the position while Billy Hamilton learns to play center at Triple-A this season. The other big change: Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman moves from the closer role into the rotation. Chapman was sensational as the fill-in closer last season. The Reds signed Jonathan Broxton – a midseason trade acquisition – to a three-year, $21 million deal, giving themselves a closer and opening the way for Chapman to contend for a spot in the rotation during spring training.

St. Louis Cardinals

Manager: Mike Matheny (second season).

2012: 88-74, second place, wild card, lost in NLCS.

Training Town: Jupiter, Fla.

He’s Here: LHP Randy Choate, INF Ronny Cedeno, INF Ty Wigginton, C Rob Johnson, C J.R. Towles.

He’s Outta Here: RHP Kyle Lohse, 1B Lance Berkman, 2B-OF Skip Schumaker, RHP Kyle McClellan, LHP Brian Fuentes.

Going campin’: The health of shortstop Rafael Furcal as he comes back from a torn ligament in his throwing elbow is the biggest question for a team that made minor alterations after finishing one win shy of a second straight trip to the World Series. There’s optimism that Furcal can return without surgery, but it’s far from a sure thing, so Cedeno was picked up as a low-cost alternative. There’s certainly one opening in the rotation after Lohse, who was among the NL’s best with a 16-3 record, 2.86 ERA and staff-high 33 starts last season, was let go as a free agent. Right-hander Chris Carpenter, 37, is unlikely to pitch this season and his career might be over because of a nerve injury that kept him out most of last year.

Milwaukee Brewers

Manager: Ron Roenicke (third season).

2012: 83-79, third place.

Training Town: Phoenix.

He’s Here: LHP Mike Gonzalez, LHP Tom Gorzelanny, RHP Burke Badenhop.

He’s Outta Here: RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Nyjer Morgan, RHP Francisco Rodriguez, LHP Manny Parra, 1B Travis Ishikawa, RHP Kameron Loe, RHP Jose Veras, RHP Fautino De Los Santos.

Going campin’: Yovani Gallardo is back, but the rest of the starting rotation is uncertain. Young pitchers Mike Fiers, Wily Peralta and Mark Rogers each will get a long look, and Chris Narveson likely will get a spot if he’s fully recovered from shoulder surgery that ended his 2012 season after two starts. There also is some work to be done in the bullpen in front of closer John Axford and setup man Jim Henderson. 1B Corey Hart had right knee surgery over the winter, shelving one of Milwaukee’s power bats for the start of the season. Following a quiet offseason, LF Ryan Braun will face more questions about performing-enhancing drugs after Yahoo Sports reported his name showed up three times in records from a Florida clinic being investigated by Major League Baseball. The slugger says the person who ran the clinic was used only as a consultant on his suspension appeal, and he has nothing to hide.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Manager: Clint Hurdle (third season).

2012: 79-83, fourth place.

Training Town: Bradenton, Fla.

He’s Here: C Russell Martin, RHP Jeanmar Gomez, RHP Mark Melancon, OF Jerry Sands, LHP Jonathan Sanchez, RHP Vin Mazzaro, 1B Clint Robinson, LHP Andy Oliver.

He’s Outta Here: RHP Joel Hanrahan, RHP Kevin Correia, C Rod Barajas, RHP Chad Qualls, RHP Chris Resop, 2B Brock Holt.

Going campin’: The Pirates were 16 games above .500 last August but still managed to finish with a losing record for the 20th straight season. Rather than try to make a big splash in free agency, they opted to sign a steady All-Star in Martin, hoping his career-worst .211 batting average for the Yankees in 2012 was an anomaly. The bullpen will have a new closer in 36-year-old Jason Grilli. After two promising summers faded into disappointing falls, the time is now for them to end “The Streak” and play meaningful games into September and beyond.

Chicago Cubs

Manager: Dale Sveum (second season).

2012: 61-101, fifth place.

Training Town: Mesa, Ariz.

He’s Here: RHP Edwin Jackson, RHP Scott Baker, RHP Scott Feldman, RHP Carlos Villanueva, RHP Kyuji Fujikawa, C Dioner Navarro, OF Nate Schierholtz.

He’s Outta Here: 1B-RF Bryan LaHair, RHP Chris Volstad, C Anthony Recker.

Going campin’: As they enter the second year of the Theo Epstein era, the Cubs remain in the early stages of a building process. They did, however, try to speed things along. They made a big play for Anibal Sanchez before he re-signed with Detroit and then signed Jackson to a $52 million, four-year deal, all after a proposed trade that would have sent closer Carlos Marmol to the Los Angeles Angels for pitcher Dan Haren fell through. The Cubs are trying to build up their minor league system, hoping the payoff will be the club’s first championship since 1908. Marmol could be in an awkward spot, given the trade that fell through and the arrival of Fujikawa from Japan. Cubs have six potential starters with Jackson, Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija leading the rotation, and they can boast a young All-Star in shortstop Starlin Castro and a Gold Glove second baseman in Darwin Barney.

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