Christian Yelich is out for the remainder of the 2019 season after fracturing his knee. The injury occured when Yelich fouled the ball into his knee whilst playing against his former team, the Miami Marlins. This freak incident has cut short one of the best individual offensive seasons in baseball history and has deprived us of an exciting National League MVP race.
Yelich’s absence will also have a big effect on the rest of the Brewers’ season. Milwaukee Brewers’ have been just outside the wildcard spots and have been competing for the National League central division title for most of the season. The Brewers’ have not had playoff calibre pitching all season and have had holes in their lineup. Yelich has pretty much pulled his team into contention with his historic production. His bWAR of 7.1 is over double that of any other player on the Brewers.
As well as the impact on the pennant race, Yelich’s injury has pretty much ended one of the best National League MVP races we have had in the past few years. Yelich was starting to edge ahead in the MVP race but he will not have any further chance to make his case for the award. The numbers Yelich has put up in his 580 plate appearances this season would usually be enough to guarantee him the award but this is not a normal season for offensive production. There are currently five major league players with an OPS over 1.000, which is very rare.
Given the consistent dominance of a number of players counting stats may well separate the contenders for many voters, Yelich now has a severe disadvantage in this category. Yelich would have likely been one of four National League players to hit over 50 homeruns in a season, now he may well be overtaken by Nolan Arenado, Ronald Acuna and Freddie Freeman, among others on the National League homerun leaderboard.
Perhaps more significantly Yelich was on track to have the first ever 50-30 season. That is 50 homeruns and 30 stolen bases. While these landmarks are slightly misleading given the recent explosion in homeruns, They make certain players and seasons standout when you look back on the stat lines from the all time great players. Without that 50 homerun mark Yelich’s historic 2019 will not jump out of the rows of stats quite as much as it might have.
The freak incident that injured Yelich will undoubtedly be remembered as the worst moment of this season for Brewers fans. It as cut short one of the greatest seasons in recent history by one of it’s rising stars and is a huge shame for all fans of baseball. Christian Yelich’s 2019 season may not be remembered as it deserves to be remembered but hopefully this is not the end of this version of Yelich.