Hank Aaron Award 2018
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J.D. Martinez and Christian Yelich win 2018 Hank Aaron Awards

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Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez and Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich have been named the AL and NL Hank Aaron Award winners for the 2018 season, according to an official announcement from Major League Baseball on Friday. The awards were officially presented to the players during a pregame ceremony prior to Game 3 of the World Series.

Martinez, 31, is rounding off a career-best year at the plate — which proved fortuitous for the Red Sox after they inked him to a five-year, $110 million deal over the offseason. In 2018, he came away with 43 home runs, second-most in either league during the regular season, and batted a cool .330/.402/.629 with 5.9 fWAR and a league-leading 130 RBI across 649 plate appearances. While postseason performances aren’t taken into account for the offense-focused Hank Aaron Awards, Martinez performed well there, too, hitting at a .333/.429/.538 clip up through Game 2 of the World Series.

Yelich, 26, is a clear frontrunner for NL MVP after dominating at the plate throughout the 2018 season. He blazed his way up the leaderboard with a .326/.402/.598 batting line, 36 homers, and fourth-best 7.6 fWAR in 651 PA, and his 1.000 OPS was the highest among any National League hitter, to boot. He’s also the second-ever Brewer to earn the award since Prince Fielder first nabbed it in 2007.

This marks the second time in three years during which a Red Sox designated hitter has taken home the American League award. Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz earned the distinction in 2016 as well, while last year’s awards went to Astros second baseman and AL MVP José Altuve and former Marlins outfielder and NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton.

Doubleheader between Cardinals and Tigers postponed

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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A doubleheader between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers this week is being postponed to allow more time for additional COVID-19 testing.

MLB opted to postpone Thursday’s doubleheader to continue additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play. More details about the Cardinals’ resumption of play will be announced later this week.

The Cardinals had a series against Pittsburgh set to start on Monday postponed after a weekend series against the Cubs was scrapped due to three positive coronavirus tests.

St. Louis had two more players and a staff member test positive for the virus on Friday and have had eight positive players overall, including star catcher Yadier Molina.

There have now been 29 games postponed by Major League Baseball because of coronavirus concerns. The Cardinals have not played since July 30 and have had 15 games scrapped.

Miami and Philadelphia each had seven games postponed earlier and have returned to the field since the disruptions.

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