sports 5 days ago

Christian Yelich out for the season with fractured knee cap

Sporting News — customerservice@sportingnews.com (Sporting News)

One of the frontrunners in the NL MVP race and the biggest star on the Milwaukee Brewers will miss the remainder of the season. 

The Brewers announced Tuesday evening on Twitter that after fouling a ball off his right knee, Christian Yelich will miss the remainder of the season with a fractured right knee cap. The incident took place in the first inning of Milwaukee's visit to Miami. 

Yelich appeared to be in some pain after he lined the ball off his knee, at first struggling to stand up before he was eventually able to walk off under his own power. Rookie Trent Grisham replaced Yelich in the lineup. 

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The reigning NL MVP, Yelich has put together another stellar campaign in 2019. He is among the leading candidates for NL MVP, boasting a .330/.430/.672 slash line with 44 home runs and 30 stolen bases. His 1.102 on-base plus slugging leads the majors.

The Brewers find themselves in a position battling for a spot in the postseason. They are currently six games behind the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals, and are two games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second Wild Card spot. 

It is tough to overstate how important Yelich has been to the club. He has accumulated 7.7 wins over replacement, far more than the next-best player, catcher Yasmani Grandal, who has amassed 4.8 WAR. Mike Moustakas ranks third at 2.4 WAR and rookie second baseman Keston Hiura is fourth at 2 WAR.

Grisham figures to be Yelich's replacement should the 27-year-old outfielder miss any time. Grisham put together his best game of his 32-game MLB career last night, racking up five hits with a double and a triple batting out of the leadoff spot. The 22-year-old rookie has hit out of the leadoff spot 18 times in his career to this point.

A former first round pick in 2015, Grisham saw much of his prospect shine dim after unspectacular seasons from 2016-18. He batted under .235 in each of those seasons. He struggled again to open up the 2019 season at Double-A, but lit up Triple-A upon a mid-summer promotion, posting a .381/.471/.776 slash line before being promoted to the majors. He has since posted a .260/.324/.448 slash line in the majors since he was promoted on Aug. 1. 

MLB Pipeline grades him as having a below-average hit tool, while possessing average power and speed.