Christian Yelich may end up with best March/April of all time

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Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich enters Monday’s series opener against the Cardinals leading the league with 13 home runs and 31 RBI in 23 games to start the 2019 season. With eight games remaining in the month, it appears that Yelich will end up with the best March/April of all time — depending on which stats you value.

According to Baseball Reference, Yelich is already one of five players to hit at least 13 homers by the end of April, joining Álex Rodríguez (2007), Albert Pujols (2006), Luis González (2001), and Ken Griffey Jr. (1997). Rodríguez and Pujols hit 14 homers, and Rodríguez led the way with 34 RBI. It wouldn’t take much for Yelich to surpass those numbers. Yelich is also top-five in March/April OPS (1.315) behind Larry Walker (1997; 1.449), Barry Bonds (2002; 1.428), Pujols (2006; 1.423), and Cody Bellinger (2019; 1.382).

We should certainly acknowledge Bellinger’s torrid start to the 2019 season as well. He’s sitting on 11 homers and 28 RBI while leading the majors in batting average (.424), slugging percentage (.882), and OPS. He leads the National League in on-base percentage (.500) across 100 trips to the plate. With Yelich and Bellinger, we’re actually looking at two of the best opening months to a season in baseball history.

Yelich will be sad to leave town after Wednesday afternoon’s game in St. Louis. Of his 13 homers, eight have come in seven games against the Cardinals. The Brewers won’t meet up with the Cardinals again until August.

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”