Slowly but surely the Cardinals are starting to get healthy. Or at least healthier.
St. Louis has activated Jon Jay and Matt Carpenter from the disabled list, sending down Matt Adams and Adron Chambers to make room on the roster.
Jay has been out since injuring his shoulder on May 14, but went 3-for-8 with a homer on a brief minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A to convince the Cardinals he’s ready to start in center field again.
Carpenter missed the past month with a strained oblique muscle, but capped his rehab assignment at Double-A by going 3-for-3 with a homer yesterday. He’ll resume playing first base and third base after hitting .288 with an .875 OPS in 39 games before the injury.
Adams struggled in his first taste of the majors, hitting .244 with a .669 OPS and ugly 24/5 K/BB ratio in 27 games, but the 23-year-old first baseman remains in the Cardinals’ plans after consistently putting up big numbers in the minors. It might not be until next season, however, as the Cardinals have no shortage of capable bats if/when everyone is healthy.
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.