Update (1:28 PM EST): Rodriguez was unable to handle a throw from shortstop Didi Gregorius on a Mike Napoli ground ball to lead off the top of the second inning. He was charged with an error.
Following Friday night’s 19-inning saga, the Yankees have made an interesting lineup decision for Saturday afternoon’s game against the Red Sox. Alex Rodriguez will bat clean-up and play in the field… at first base.
As MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch notes, this will be A-Rod’s first start in the field since September 10, 2013 and his first start anywhere other than third base, shortstop, or DH in 2,573 career games.
Rodriguez hit his 655th career home run on Thursday and has a .955 OPS in 16 plate appearances to start the season. He sat out the entire 2014 season due to a suspension for his involvement with Biogenesis.
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.