More bad news for the Yankees. MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports that the club has shut down starter Michael Pineda after an MRI showed inflammation in his upper back. The right-hander was scheduled to throw in a live spring training game on Sunday. The Yankees can now consider themselves lucky if they are able to get Pineda back before the All-Star break.
Pineda has been on the disabled list since May 6 with a Grade 1 strain of the teres major muscle. He made four starts this season, posting a 1.83 ERA with a 15/3 K/BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings. He was ejected from his most recent start, on April 23 against the Red Sox, after he was caught with pine tar on his neck. Pineda was given a 10-game suspension for the violation.
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.