Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa sounded pretty concerned when asked about his injured left shoulder on Sunday. But news comes this evening that the situation is not so dire.
Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that an MRI taken Monday on Espinosa’s shoulder revealed only a bone bruise and no hint of structural damge. He was given a cortisone shot and is aiming to return to the Nationals’ lineup for at least one half of Wednesday’s doubleheader with the Dodgers.
Espinosa is batting .250/.315/.407 with 16 home runs, 34 doubles, 19 stolen bases and 52 RBI through 603 plate appearances this season. Despite a National League-leading 174 strikeouts, the slick-fielding 25-year-old has played a significant role in the first-plate Nats’ 2012 success.
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.