Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweeted late Saturday night that Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has been diagnosed with a fracture at the tip of his right pinkie finger. It’s horrible news, especially when you consider how important Ethier has been for the red-hot 19-17 Dodgers this season.
Ethier, 28, leads the team in home runs (with 11), RBI (38) and OPS (1201). He’s also sporting a Major League-best .392 batting average through 125 at-bats this season and has tallied 11 game-winning hits since 2008.
The Dodgers have not revealed enough information to give us a clear picture of how the fracture might affect Ethier moving forward. Many players in the past have been able to fight through tiny breaks and continue slugging. Then again, others have required surgeries and long stays on the disabled list. We should all know more once the outfielder is reevaluated Sunday in Los Angeles.
If he is forced the miss time, the Dodgers could call up Xavier Paul, who is doing quite well this season at Triple-A Albuquerque with a .382/.427/.60 batting line in 76 at-bats. Garret Anderson could also be asked to play more frequently in the outfield. And same goes for Reed Johnson.
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.