On Sunday, the Twins designated outfielder Jason Kubel for assignment to make room for newcomer Kendrys Morales on the roster. Kubel cleared waivers on Friday, and just rejected an assignment to Triple-A Rochester, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports. As a result, the Twins are expected to release Kubel.
Kubel, 32, slashed a disappointing .224/.313/.295 with one home run and 13 RBI in 176 plate appearances for the Twins. The club had signed him to a minor league deal in December and he earned a major league salary of $2 million after the Twins selected his contract at the end of March. The ten-year veteran should still draw some interest as he can serve as a left-handed bench bat.
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.