MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reports that the Cardinals plan to promote outfield prospect Tyler O’Neill before tomorrow’s game.
O’Neill, 22, who was acquired last summer from the Mariners, was a third round pick in the 2013 draft. He has posted an .856 OPS, has hit 37 home runs, knocked in 113 runs, and has stolen 14 bases in 142 games at Triple-A since the beginning of last season.
Where he’ll play is unclear given that the Cards’ outfield appears pretty set with Tommy Pham, Marcel Ozuna and Dexter Fowler, but that’s Mike Matheny’s problem, not ours. My guess is that the Cards wouldn’t call him up without a plan. They’re crazy like that.
UPDATE: Yep, seems there was a plan: to possible fill in for Tommy Pham, who Trezza reports will undergo tests on his right groin today. Pham finished last night’s game, but he was apparently gimpy. At the moment there’s no indication that it’s serious, but it does explain why O’Neill would be called up.
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.