We’ve seen this coming all spring and, actually, I’m kind of surprised it took this long. Oliver Perez has been released.
His last outing as a Met came on Saturday against the Nationals, and it was pretty much standard-issue Oliver Perez: back-to-back home runs to a couple of anonymous hitters, a two-out walk to a lefty — when getting lefties out was his only hope of survival on the Mets — and then a single before getting the hook.
Oliver Perez may or may not catch on with another team — it’s hard to kill a lefty — but no matter what he does, he’ll make $12 million this year, so let us not weep for him. At the same time, let us at least warmly acknowledge the Mets’ new willingness in the Sandy Alderson era to recognize a sunk cost and the value of a roster spot.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.