I was rather surprised to see Jerry Manuel call Fernando Nieve into last night’s game against the Phillies. The Mets had a nice lead, Nieve has been overworked this year and if there was ever a situation for a mopup guy, that was it. Turns out, however, that there may have been a method to the madness: It was a side-session for Nieve, who will likely be called on to start Saturday night’s game against the Brewers.
That’s what Jerry Manuel said after last night’s game, anyway, calling Nieve “the leading candidate” to get the call, and saying that “he deserves a shot.”
Which may be a good thing for him. Nieve is still way up near the top in games pitched this year, and moving him to the rotation could ease up his workload a bit. More pitches but less often, don’t you know. As it is he has struggled lately, maybe because he’s tired.
Quite the reshuffling of the Mets rotation in this last week. So far it’s worked wonderfully, with R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi dominating what is supposed to be the NL’s best offense the last two nights. Milwaukee has a powerful offense too, and I’m curious to see how Nieve does.
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.