7:15 p.m. EDT update: Now it’s officially official, apparently. The Angels have once again announced that Weaver has been placed on the DL and Richards has been called up.
6:30 p.m. EDT update: The Angels have asked reporters to disregard the release they sent out announcing that Weaver was placed on the DL and Garrett Richards was recalled. Apparently, they’re still deliberating the move.
Those fearing a serious knee injury for Jered Weaver last night got some good news, but the Angels ace wasn’t able to avoid the disabled list on Tuesday. The Angels deactivated him due to what was termed a lower back strain and spasms.
Weaver was off to a 6-1 start with a 2.61 ERA this season. It’s the first time in five years that he has gone on the DL. He last missed time in April 2007 due to biceps tendinitis.
In a minor surprise, replacing Weaver on the roster is Garrett Richards. Richards was the expected choice to take Weaver’s place in the rotation this weekend, but it figured the Angels would call up a reliever until then. Instead, they apparently want Richards available out of the bullpen tonight in case they need a long man. Since the Angels needed nine innings from their bullpen Monday, they’ll be limited in what they have available tonight.
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.