Knee surgery caused Carlos Quentin to miss the first 49 games after the Padres acquired him from the White Sox in December, but now he’s off the disabled list and jumping right into the cleanup spot for his San Diego debut today.
Quentin put up big power numbers for the White Sox, averaging 34 homers per 150 games, but also missed an average of 43 games per season with injuries and benefited from a hitter-friendly home ballpark.
Already the Padres have seen the oft-injured aspect of Quentin’s game and it’ll be interesting to see how his power translates moving to the majors’ most extreme pitcher-friendly ballpark. So far this season Padres hitters have combined for an MLB-low 18 homers in 1,812 plate appearances, producing a measly .326 slugging percentage.
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.