It’s less than ideal timing with the team in last place and the disabled list suddenly packed with regulars, but the Brewers announced contract extensions with general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke.
Melvin’s new deal runs through 2015, while Roenicke’s contract runs through 2014 and includes a team option for 2015.
Melvin took over as GM of a 56-106 team in late 2002, getting them to 81-81 in 2005, and they’ve finished .500 or better in four of the past seven seasons while making the playoffs twice during that time. Not exactly a dynasty, but prior to Melvin’s arrival the Brewers had a losing record in 10 straight seasons and their last playoff appearance was 1982.
Roenicke replaced Ken Macha as manager in last season, taking the Brewers to the playoffs with a 96-66 record that stands as the best in franchise history. Prior to that he served as the Angels’ bench coach under manager Mike Scioscia and played eight seasons in the majors as a part-time outfielder.
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.