The National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers are 14 games ahead of the last-place Chicago Cubs, but Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez has been impressed by what he's seen from the Cubs' young players.
"We've seen [Javier] Baez and, obviously, [Anthony] Rizzo, [Starlin] Castro, some young power arms out of the bullpen," the former Cub told MLB.com on Tuesday. "They've got some players there. They're not that far away."
More: Lessons from 1994 players' strike
The Cubs beat the Brewers 3-0 on Tuesday night, aided by 7.1 shutout innings from rookie right-hander Kyle Hendricks, a pair of hits and an RBI from rookie center fielder Arismendy Alcantara and a home run from Rizzo.
More from Cubs manager Rick Renteria:
"You get to see the young men everybody has been talking about for the last couple years, and you're seeing them contribute in some way, shape or form in a positive way. Maybe it starts to validate the direction the organization is going in, which is good. We all understand it's been a long time, and it's going to take a while to chip away and have everybody feel positive about the organization, but it's going that way."
The Cubs have finished last in the NL Central each of the last four seasons.
Ramirez played for the Cubs from 2003-11 before leaving to sign with the Brewers.
Yuri Sucart will air A-Rod's dirty laundry
On Tuesday's SI Now, "Blood Sport" author Gus Garcia-Roberts and Sports Illustrated associate editor Ted Keith discuss how people will always be suspicious of Alex Rodriguez and how Yuri Sucart will air some of A-Rod's dirty laundry.
- Sarah Barshop