Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez was lifted from Saturday night’s game against the Orioles due to what the club called “back trouble.” This morning the Nats’ medical team reached a slightly better diagnosis, according to the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore.
Pudge has “tenderness” in his lower back and will miss the next several games in the hope that rest will cure the ailment. Wil Nieves filled in for him on Saturday and is probably going to start behind the plate for the majority of Washington’s upcoming three-game set with the Giants.
The veteran Rodriguez is batting an impressive .325/.351/.439 this season with one home run, 16 RBI and two stolen bases in 123 at-bats. Nieves, meanwhile, is 11-for-54 (.204) in limited action.
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.