— The Pittsburgh Pirates resigned Jeff Karstens to a one-year deal and there is already competition for their fifth starter. As we reported a couple weeks ago, the Francisco Liriano deal is still on hold after he hurt his non-throwing arm around Christmas time.

Jay Bruce has reportedly offered to play center field in the event that the Reds’ new acquisition, Shin Soo Choo, feels more comfortable playing his more natural position of right field.

— Buster Olney wonders what type of production the Brewers’ pitching rotation will give this season as they are no longer with Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, or Randy Wolf.

Yovani Gallardo

From the article:

“Now the Brewers will plow ahead with a really young rotation. Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin did a simple math exercise — “kind of a kindergarten thing,” he said last week, chuckling — to compare the Brewers’ homegrown rotation with those of other teams. If a team’s No. 1 starter was signed and developed by the team, he awarded five points, and awarded four points for a No. 2 homegrown starter, etc. Based on this system, Melvin found that very few teams — the Tampa Bay Rays, and perhaps the Astros — have a rotation built in the same way as the Brewers, which could turn out to be almost entirely generated from their system.”

As Olney ironically points out, Chris Carpenter has actually nearly thrown more innings in his career than the entire Brewers’ pitching staff. Though their staff is young, I fully expect the Brewers to compete in 2013. In addition to Yovani Gallardo, Mike Fiers proved in 2012 that he very much belongs in the Major Leagues, spotting a 3.74 ERA over 127.2 innings. The thing to watch out from Fiers is his devastating changeup, which seems to fool the vast majority of hitters he faces.