The National League playoff chase — and the MVP race — just got an unfortunate shakeup.
Milwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich is out for the season with a fractured knee cap, the team announced Tuesday.
Christian Yelich left tonight’s game with a fractured right knee cap. He will miss the remainder of the season.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 11, 2019
Yelich sustained the injury by hitting a foul ball off his knee during the first inning of the Brewers’ game against the Miami Marlins. Yelich immediately fell to the ground, but eventually walked off the field on his own power.
It has not yet been decided if Yelich will need surgery, nor has a timetable to return been determined. He will fly back to Milwaukee on Wednesday for further testing.
Christian Yelich was a top MVP candidate
Losing Yelich is an enormous blow to Brewers, who currently find themselves 5.5 games back from the NL Central-leading Cardinals and 1.5 games back from the Chicago Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot.
At the time of his injury, Yelich led the National League in both on-base percentage (.430) and slugging percentage (.672) and seemed to be only getting better as the season went on. He had recently become just the 10th player in MLB history to post 40 home runs (he’s currently at 44) and 30 stolen bases in a season.
Christian Yelich will miss the rest of the season with a fractured kneecap.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 11, 2019
Yelich's season OPS will finish at 1.100, the highest in a qualified season in Brewers history.
He also becomes the 2nd reigning MVP ever to record a 40-30 season. pic.twitter.com/7lRERD4m8z
Since Yelich was acquired in a trade with the Marlins following the 2017 season, few players, if any, have been as important to their lineups as the 27-year-old has been to the Brewers.
“This is a guy who has carried us in a number of ways over the last two years. Could have been two-and-a-half weeks from a repeat Most Valuable Player award.” Brewers general manager David Stearns said to reporters. “We have a lot of guys in that clubhouse who will hurt tonight. This is a gut punch.”
Without Yelich, the Brewers’ season outlook seems bleak. Stearns pointed to another past injury, Jimmy Nelson’s shoulder injury in 2017, as an example of an injury the team has to power through. The Brewers finished 86-76 that year, missing the playoffs.
“We’ve been through this before as an organization,” Stearns said. “Two years ago almost to the day, we lost Jimmy Nelson to a similarly freak injury. We competed at a very high level for the remainder of that season. I expect our team to compete at a similarly high level going forward.”
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