Prominent St. Louis Cardinals rival continues to undergo offseason changes

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Mike Maddux of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on from the top step of dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on September 05, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Brewers defeated the Cardinals 6-5. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
Mike Maddux of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on from the top step of dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on September 05, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Brewers defeated the Cardinals 6-5. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers, the St. Louis Cardinals prominent division rival, continues to undergo offseason changes to its coaching staff.

The lockout is nearly six weeks old, the MLBPA and MLB are meeting Thursday for the first time to discuss the CBA, and there are doubts as to whether the regular season will start on time. But that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from continuing to churn.

In recent weeks, the St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to starting pitchers, relievers and bench bats. But elsewhere in the National League Central, the Milwaukee Brewers continue to undergo changes, with bullpen coach Steve Karsay leaving the organization to spend more time with his family, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

It’s yet another coaching change for the Brewers, who fired hitting coach Andy Haines and assistant hitting coach Jacob Cruz earlier this offseason. This much staff turnover is a surprise, especially since they are coming off four consecutive postseason appearances, and losing Karsay is a huge blow. In league circles, he’s widely viewed as a very good bullpen coach, both for his coaching and people skills, and the results of a bullpen led by Josh Hader and Devin Williams speak for themselves.

It is unclear who will replace Karsay,  but this much staff turnover for the Brewers can only be a good thing for the Cardinals. The Brewers are easily the Cardinals’ biggest threat in the NL Central and losing any coach, especially one as highly regarded as Karsay, will be tough to replace.

Besides, the gap between the Cardinals and Brewers has already narrowed this winter. While the Cardinals have added Steven Matz, re-signed Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina and gotten much of their roster back to 100 percent health, the Brewers have only made one addition – Hunter Renfroe – while losing Jackie Bradley Jr., Manny Pina and three members of their 2021 coaching staff.

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We will see if the managerial difference between Craig Counsell, arguably one of the best managers in the National League, and Oli Marmol, a first-time manager, is enough to make up for that difference. But losing Karsay is the latest blow for a Brewers team that is surprisingly undergoing a sizable overhaul on its coaching staff.

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