The other day Toronto Blue Jays say prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. left a game early with an unspecified leg injury that, at the time, was considered to be a minor aggravation of a preexisting thing. Initial reports were that Guerrero would be day-to-day and probably wouldn’t miss much time.
So much for that: the Jays now say he will miss at least four weeks because of a strained patellar tendon in his left knee.
That certainly stinks, as Guerrero was tearing up Double-A ball and forcing the Blue Jays to at least begin to reconsider their somewhat deliberate approach to the phenom who, in most other organizations would likely have been moved up to Triple-A already. Indeed, he’s hitting .407/.457/.667 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs in 53 games this season.
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.