Bad news for the Braves: Arodys Vizcaino, who looked to be part of the big league pen this year and, in the future, profiled as a starter, underwent Tommy John surgery today. As you know, that ends his 2012 and, depending on how the rehab goes, may very well kill a bit of his 2013.
Vizcaino had been shut down with elbow trouble and met with James Andrews yesterday. It was apparently a pretty quick visit without a lot of nuance to it. But hey, at least Tommy John can make a boat payment with his royalties. I mean, that’s how it works, right? Dr. Andrews wouldn’t screw Tommy John like that, would he?
Vizcaino is only 21 and only has 17 major league innings under his belt. In four minor league seasons, however, he is 19-15 with a 2.91 ERA in 268 innings with a K-rate of 9.3 per nine while walking only 2.3 per nine.
Promising, but now it’s promise deferred.
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.