We’ve seen Nyjer Morgan cross-check major league catchers in the past, but he’ll have a chance to go back to his roots tomorrow. According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, the outspoken outfielder will suit up to practice with his hometown San Jose Sharks.
“I’m really excited to get on the ice with the team,” said Morgan. “I’ve been a diehard fan since the team came to San Jose in 1991. I will never forget the George Kingston and Patty Falloon days. I’m not sure the guys are ready for me!”
Morgan gave up hockey about a decade ago in order to focus on baseball, but he did play with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League in 1999-2000. You can watch him on the ice here. He scored two goals in seven games and wouldn’t you know it, he also logged 20 penalty minutes.
Zack Greinke began last season on the disabled list after breaking his rib in a pickup basketball game prior to spring training, so some minor trepidation on the Brewers’ part would be understandable, but GM Doug Melvin told McCalvy that they aren’t concerned given Morgan’s previous experience as a hockey player. The Brewers and Morgan avoided arbitration earlier this month by agreeing to a one-year, $2.35 million contract, but the deal is not guaranteed.
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.