With the arrival of Gavin Floyd to the starting rotation, the Braves have decided to move Alex Wood to the bullpen, at least for now, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Wood will not make Sunday’s scheduled start. However, he will start a week from Saturday and will be available in the bullpen through Wednesday, O’Brien adds.
Wood, 23, posted a 3.00 ERA in seven starts spanning 45 innings. The Braves’ rotation, one through five, has been great though and no matter who was ousted, there would have been a bit of controversy.
Floyd, who underwent elbow surgery last May and had been recovering ever since, allowed one run in seven innings to the Cardinals in his 2014 debut on Tuesday. The Braves signed him to a one-year, $4 million deal in December.
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.