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2016 MLB roster outlook: Milwaukee Brewers

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2016 MLB roster outlook: Milwaukee Brewers

2015 record: 68-94, 4th place in NL Central

Manager: Craig Counsell, 2nd season

Estimated 2016 payroll: $64 million

Key additions: 1B Chris Carter, 3B Aaron Hill, SP Chase Anderson, 3B Will Middlebrooks

Key losses: OF Khris Davis, SS Jean Segura, CL Francisco Rodriguez

Projected lineup

2B Scooter Gennett
C Jonathan Lucroy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Chris Carter
3B Aaron Hill
RF Domingo Santana
SS Jonathan Villar
CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Projected rotation

RHP Jimmy Nelson
RHP Wily Peralta
RHP Matt Garza
RHP Taylor Jungmann
RHP Chase Anderson

Top relievers

CL Jeremy Jeffress
LHP Will Smith
RHP Corey Knebel

Biggest questions entering 2016

1. Can they bounce back to respectability? The Brewers haven't made the postseason since 2011, but up until last year had been a franchise consistently good enough to compete to a moderate degree in the National League. Last season, however, the bottom fell out as they went 68-94 and finished 32 (!) games out of first place in the NL Central. Was last season a sign of more to come, or was that the aberration for a normally-mediocre Brewers team? One thing is for sure, it won't be easy climbing out of the cellar in that division, which has become the best in baseball and could be even tougher in 2016.

2. Can they improve their pitching? Only two teams - the Phillies and Rockies - saw worse ERAs posted by their starting rotations in 2015 than the Brewers. If Milwaukee is to get back to prominence they will need to improve in that category. Last season they had three starters (Garza, Peralta and Kyle Lohse) make at least 20 starts and post ERAs above 4.70. Unfortunately, there isn't much young talent to point to, either. The Brewers have a long way to go to have a playoff-worthy rotation and former first round pick Taylor Jungmann (3.77 ERA in 21 GS in 2015) may be their best hope for progress in the short-term.

3. Will they trade any big names? The Brewers shipped Khris Davis and Jean Segura out the door this offseason in trades and last year they traded Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gomez before the deadline. Rumors swirled around catcher Jonathan Lucroy this winter, but he remains on the roster. He made it known he wants out of Milwaukee, will they give him his wish? Scooter Gennett may be another name to watch this summer, as it was just a year ago that he looked like one of the better young second baseman in the game.

[Roster info via RosterResource.com]

[RELATED: Get to know Bronson Arroyo, whose career came 'full circle' to Nats]

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

Remember Jim Riggleman, the infamous Nats manager that resigned from the position back in 2011 after a win against the Seattle Mariners? Well he's back in a managerial position.

Bryan Price was fired as manager of the Cinncinati Reds Thursday, after the team started the 2018 season 3-15. Riggleman, who spent four seasons as their bench coach, was named the interim manager to replace Price.

Riggleman was promoted to interim manager of the Nats in July of 2009, after Manny Acta was let go midseason. He stayed on as manager for 2010 and 2011, and he then resigned from the team on June 23, 2011 after a win agaisnt the Seattle Mariners. He had lead the team to a win in 11 of their last 12 games prior to stepping away.

The reason behind the dramatic exit was due to the organization not yet picking up his 2012 contract option. He had reportedly requested a conversation with the front office about his future with the organization, and was upset after they declined. At 58 years-old, he felt he deserved more respect.

He's been with the Reds organization since 2012, and has spent time managing the Padres, Cubs and Mariners, in addition to the Nationals. His career winning pct. with each team has been below-.500.

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.