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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Two injured MVPs is a major bummer for baseball

Last week Christian Yelich‘s season ended with a fractured kneecap. At the time he went down he was neck-and-neck with Cody Bellinger — I think a tad behind, though people may reasonably differ — and, at least by my reckoning, a hair or three above Anthony Rendon, Ketel Marte and Pete Alonso in the race for the NL MVP Award. As I wrote last week, I think that means Bellinger is going to walk away with the hardware when the winner is announced in November. Yelich’s injury will prevent him from making a late season surge to surpass Bellinger, but I think it would’ve taken a surge for him to do it.

Over the weekend we learned that Mike Trout’s season is over as well. He’ll be having foot surgery to deal with a nerve issue causing him pain. At the time he went down he was the clear frontrunner to win his third MVP Award. Unlike Yelich, I’m pretty sure Trout will still win the trophy. Sure, Trout hasn’t played since September 7, meaning that he’ll miss more time than Yelich will, but strained articles stumping for alternative candidates notwithstanding, his lead in the MVP race was more secure.

Trout’s 2019 ends with him setting a career high in homers with 45 and slugging percentage at .645—both of which lead the American League. He likewise leads the league in on-base percentage (.438), OPS (1.083), and in both Baseball-Reference.com’s and FanGraphs’ versions of WAR at 8.3 and 8.6, respectively. With just under two weeks to go it seems likely that Jorge Soler of the Royals will pass Trout for the home run lead, but he’s not an MVP candidate himself. Alex Bregman will likely pass him in walks. Trout seems pretty certain to finish with his lead in all or most of the other categories intact. That’s an MVP resume even if he’ll only have played in 134 games. To give the award to anyone else would be an exercise in narrative over reason. Something born of a desire to reward a guy — like, say, Bregman — for playing on a winning team as opposed to his individual accomplishments. Sure, voters are allowed to do that, but they’ve mostly eschewed such tendencies in recent years. It’d be a surprise if they backslid.

Even if Yelich’s and Trout’s injuries aren’t likely to radically change the MVP race — again, I think the NL’s was Bellinger’s to lose — they’re both still lamentable separate and apart from the fact that all injuries stink. Lamentable in a way that, unfortunately, creates a downer for baseball as it gets ready for the postseason.

Bad for baseball- but, on the bright side, it’s given me an idea for what could be the great hit sitcom of our time…..

 

QLE Posted: September 17, 2019 at 12:28 AM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: christian yelich, injuries, mike trout

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. "RMc", the superbatsman Posted: September 17, 2019 at 07:50 AM (#5879882)
Fun fact: Trout is averaging 9.8 WAR per 162 games played in his career. (If you don't count his rookie season, it's 10.1!)
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 17, 2019 at 08:13 AM (#5879884)
on the bright side, it’s given me an idea for what could be the great hit sitcom of our time
Not if you’ve ever seen Trout on camera. Yelich is somewhat better, but it would be “two boring white guys sit and talk about the weather and injury rehab training methods.”

Actually, yeah, that would be way better than Two and a Half Men. Touché.
   3. Lest we forget Posted: September 18, 2019 at 02:31 AM (#5880312)
"on the bright side, it’s given me an idea for what could be the great hit sitcom of our time

Absolutely. Training together, eating together, driving together, finding 'entertainment' together (would be best if there were no marriages and resultant children in play, although it could be a good plot twist if there's an 8 year old that dropped into things from a one night stand in High School - you know, why re-invent the wheel???). Would be cool if the physical nature of the two were extreme opposites, like Stanton and Altuve. THAT could fun - Altuve could have some great pickup lines on the advantage of 'the smaller man'.

Young, ridiculously rich dudes who have little clue about taste and financial responsibility but can sure riff on the importance of RBI over OBP and which protein drink really delivers.

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