Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Mariners have shut down 1B/DH Jesus Montero for the season so he can focus on his “non-baseball issues”.
Montero, of course, made headlines last night and today after it was reported that he went after a heckling scout with a bat during a Northwest League matchup between the Boise Hawks and the Everett AquaSox. Montero was rehabbing with Everett as he recovers from an oblique injury.
Montero, 24, has not lived up to expectations since coming over to the Mariners along with Hector Noesi in the trade that sent Michael Pineda and Jose Campos to the Yankees. Along with weight issues and injuries, Montero has posted a meager .251/.291/.378 slash line with 19 home runs and 73 RBI in 680 plate appearances with the Mariners.
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.