Milwaukee Brewers standout Christian Yelich will miss the rest of the season after fracturing his right kneecap in Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the Marlins in Miami.
Yelich is scheduled to return to Milwaukee on Wednesday for additional tests. At this point, it’s not yet known if he’ll need surgery. Yelich suffered the injury when he fouled a pitch off of his knee in the first inning.
“First and foremost, we feel awful for Christian,” said Brewers general manager David Stearns. “This is a guy who’s carried us in a number of ways over the last two years. He could’ve been two and a half weeks away from a repeat Most Valuable Player award. So that’s where our thoughts are first.
“From a team perspective, we’ve got a lot of guys in that clubhouse who will hurt tonight. This is a gut punch for a night. And then we need to recover and play really strong baseball. We’ve been through this before as an organization. Two years ago, almost to the day, we lost Jimmy Nelson to a similarly freak injury, and we competed at a very high level for the remainder of the season. And I expect our team to compete at a similarly high level going forward.”
The Brewers moved within a single game of the Chicago Cubs for the National League’s second wildcard playoff spot. The Cubs fell to the Padres in San Diego 9-8.
“We have to move forward,” Manager Craig Counsell said. “We feel awful for Christian. That’s the thing kinda resonating with me right now is he’s a special player, and it’s a joy to watch him play every day. And he’s the best at what he does. So not being able to see that every day is definitely no good. But we gotta respond, and we have a great opportunity, and the guys battled to a great win tonight.
Yelich ends the season with a .329 batting average, 44 home runs and 97 RBIs. He led the majors in slugging percentage and OPS entering Tuesday’s games.
Trent Grisham took over for Yelich in Tuesday’s game. He and veteran Ben Gamel are expected to get the bulk of the playing time in place of Yelich.