Probably worth noting at this point that the Milwaukee Brewers are unstoppable. They’ve won 19 of 21 games. When this nice little run began in late July they were tied with the Cardinals for first place. Now they lead by seven and are close to putting the NL Central away. They’re 47-15 at home for cryin’ out loud.
With the exception of the Cardinals, against whom Milwaukee is 4-2 during this stretch, the competition hasn’t been stellar. Six games against Houston. Three each against Chicago, L.A. and the fading Pirates. But the Brewers can’t make the schedule and they’re taking care of the business they need to take care of in astonishingly efficient fashion. And hey, the Cards play the same guys, so it’s not as if it’s unfair somehow.
It’s not totally locked up yet — we still have nearly a month and a half of baseball to be played — but it sure seems like the NL Central “race” is about to be a thing of the past.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.