Cliff Lee gave Mariners fans a scare earlier this month by undergoing surgery to remove bone spurs from his left foot, but it looks like reports of the operation being “minor” will prove accurate.
Lee is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session of the spring next Wednesday, which would actually put him slightly ahead of the initial recovery timetable issued by the Mariners. Here’s how Lee explained the situation to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:
The doctor looked at it and found this bony mass at the top of my foot. I was told I could do two things: either have surgery on it right away or start taking these shots to numb the pain and keep taking them all season. No way I was going to do that, so I had the surgery. I’m getting around pretty good on it right now.
Definitely the right decision, because trying to pitch through the pain would have been a mistake and there’s still more than enough time for Lee to get ready for Opening Day. In fact, if he can get on a mound next week and avoid a setback he’ll basically be right on schedule with the rest of the pitching staff.
Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.
Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.
Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.
Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.