After undergoing season-ending hip surgery Todd Helton said back in September that he planned to play in 2013, but now he’s added knee surgery to the recovery process and may not be fully locked into coming back.
Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes that “the Rockies have to be prepared if he decides to retire” and “Helton won’t make a final decision until he sees how his surgically repaired hip responds after workouts this winter.”
Whether the focus is on his career-worst 2012 production or his current health Helton is no longer an everyday player at age 39, so even if he does return the Rockies will be giving significant time to someone else at first base.
Helton is owed $5 million in the final season of his contract and 2013 would be his 17th year with the Rockies.
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.