Philadelphia’s decision to re-sign Jimmy Rollins looked like a mess two months into his three-year, $33 million contract, as the former MVP hit just .224 with one homer and a .558 OPS through 47 games.
At age 33 and coming off back-to-back sub-.400 slugging percentage seasons it was starting to look like Rollins’ power was gone, but instead he’s been an extra-base hit machine since then.
Rollins went 2-for-5 with a homer and a double last night and is now 38-for-110 (.345) with seven homers, 10 doubles, and two triples in his last 25 games. During that time he raised his batting average from .224 to .268 and his OPS from .558 to .734, both of which are right around his career marks of .272 and .760.
Whether or not that means the Phillies will eventually regret giving Rollins a three-year commitment remains to be seen, but as they try to claw their way back into the playoff picture his re-emergence along with Chase Utley’s impending return has to have fans feeling at least a little bit optimistic.
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.