Right-hander Johnny Cueto is scheduled to make his Royals debut Friday against the Blue Jays in Toronto after being acquired from the Reds in exchange for minor leaguers Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, and Cody Reed.
Cueto made his final start for the Reds on Saturday, shutting out the Rockies for eight innings at Coors Field, so his first start for the Royals will come on one extra day of rest than normal.
Cueto has a 2.62 ERA and 120/29 K/BB ratio in 131 innings this season, posting a sub-3.00 ERA for the fifth straight year. Among all pitchers with at least 100 starts since 2011 only Clayton Kershaw has a lower ERA than Cueto’s mark of 2.51.
As for who’s leaving the Royals’ rotation to make room for Cueto’s arrival, manager Ned Yost says he’s not sure yet if it’ll be Jeremy Guthrie or Chris Young.
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.