Injured Cubs starter Yu Darvish suffered a setback during a rehab outing on Sunday. Darvish was hopeful he could return to help the Cubs before the end of the season, but that won’t be the case. ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports that Darvish has a stress reaction in his right elbow and will be shut down for the remainder of the season. Darvish’s elbow ligament is fine, but the stress reaction is a precursor to a fracture.
The Cubs and Darvish agreed on a six-year, $126 million contract in February. The first year didn’t go as expected. In eight starts, Darvish posted a 4.95 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 21 walks across 40 innings. He landed on the disabled list after his May 20 start against the Reds and hasn’t pitched since.
President of baseball operations Theo Epstein bolstered the roster earlier today, acquiring second baseman Daniel Murphy from the Nationals. The club will likely be on the lookout for starting rotation between now and the end of the month. Mike Montgomery went on the disabled list, which meant Tyler Chatwood and his 5.22 ERA with an 85/93 K/BB ratio returned to the rotation. The Cubs almost certainly want to find a reason to take Chatwood out again.
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.