Carlos Quentin has been on and off the disabled list while playing just 50 games this season due to a spring training knee injury and Padres manager Bud Black no longer expects to him to return to the lineup this year.
Black told Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union Tribune “it’s looking more and more that his season might be over” even though the team believes he’ll be able to avoid a fourth knee surgery since they acquired Quentin in 2012.
That means he’ll have played 86, 82, and 50 games in three seasons with San Diego, yet the Padres liked Quentin enough midway through that first season to give him a three-year, $27 million contract extension. So they owe him $8 million for 2015 and $10 million or a $3 million buyout for 2016.
Quentin has been injured a lot throughout his career, but prior to this season he’d always maintained strong production whenever he was healthy enough to be in the lineup. That hasn’t been the case this season at age 31, when he’s hit .177 with four homers and a .599 OPS following four straight seasons with an OPS above .800.
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.