The Brewers just unloaded Zack Greinke for prospects, but they won’t have the chance to do the same with Shaun Marcum.
Marcum is still trying to make it back from a right elbow injury which has kept him on the shelf since mid-June. He made it through a bullpen session earlier this week with no issues, but Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told Jeremy Warnemuende of MLB.com that he “didn’t feel as good” after throwing 15 pitches today.
Brewers pitching coach Rick Kranitz said Marcum had trouble “getting loose.” And while the veteran right-hander was originally placed on the disabled list with elbow tightness, Kranitz indicated that his shoulder was the issue today. That doesn’t sound like a promising combination.
Roenicke stopped short of calling today’s bullpen session a setback, but it’s clear Marcum won’t be rejoining the Brewers’ rotation in the near future. He’s expected to play catch on Saturday, after which there should be more clarity about the next step.
Marcum, an impending free agent, has a 3.39 ERA and 77/26 K/BB ratio in 82 1/3 innings across 13 starts this year.
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.