The Brewers, the entire sport of baseball, and fans who just like watching great players play all suffered a brutal loss on Tuesday night. The Brewers announced following Tuesday night’s win over the Marlins that outfielder Christian Yelich will miss the rest of the 2019 season after fouling a ball off his right knee and fracturing his right kneecap:
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, 27, won the 2018 NL MVP and was a very legitimate option — if not the leading candidate — to repeat this season. Yelich finishes the season with 580 plate appearances, posting a .329 batting average with an NL-leading .429 on-base percentage, a majors-best .671 slugging percentage, 44 homers, and 97 RBI. He made his second straight All-Star team, and he entered Tuesday with a 7.1 bWAR that ranked second only to Cody Bellinger in the NL and fifth overall in the majors.
Yelich’s loss is a crushing blow to a Brewers team that has surged as of late, winning five straight and pulling within a game of the Cubs for the second NL Wild Card spot and second place in the NL Central, but still faces a serious uphill climb with a pitching staff that has unmaskable deficiencies. Barring a stunning upset, it almost certainly also means that Bellinger will end up winning the NL MVP.
If there’s a positive that’s to be taken from this news, it’s that this injury doesn’t appear to be something that will sideline Yelich into next season. While it’s a real shame to see his banner 2019 campaign come to an early conclusion, he shouldn’t have much trouble returning to dominance in 2020.