Scott Radinsky has taken the fall for Cleveland’s collapse, as the Indians fired him as pitching coach less than a year after promoting him to the position. Triple-A pitching coach Ruben Niebla has been named the interim replacement.
Cleveland has the second-worst team ERA in the league at 4.75, along with the second-fewest strikeouts and most walks, which is why the Indians are 51-60 despite an offense that has been right around average.
Of course, how much of that can be blamed on Radinsky is unclear and not being able to work wonders on guys like Derek Lowe and Josh Tomlin isn’t exactly a fire-able offense. On the other hand Justin Masterson has regressed following a breakout 2011 season and Ubaldo Jimenez continues to be a mess, which were perhaps Radinsky’s two most important jobs this year.
Before being named Indians pitching coach last fall Radinsky pitched 11 seasons in the majors, served as Cleveland’s bullpen coach, and was the lead singer of a punk rock band.
General manager Chris Antonetti has already said that manager Manny Acta will be back in 2013.
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.