Here’s a dose of positive news for the Red Sox.
Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports that third baseman Will Middlebrooks “should not need to have surgery” on his broken right wrist because doctors diagnosed the fracture as non-displaced.
He’s still probably done for the remainder of the 2012 season, but the wrist should make a full recovery and he has a good chance of being 100 percent healthy heading into spring training next February.
Middleboorks, a 23-year-old rookie, posted a .288/.325/.509 batting line with 15 home runs, 14 doubles and 54 RBI over his first 75 major league games this season. Boston has turned to Pedro Ciriaco at third base in his absence. Danny Valencia should also get looks at the hot corner down the stretch.
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.