So much for easing him back in. Just two days after it appeared he was in line for a save opportunity against the Braves, Lidge tossed a perfect ninth inning in a 3-2 victory over the Padres on Friday night.
It was Lidge’s first save since his return from the disabled list on Monday and
just his second of the season. It helped preserve Roy Halladay’s eighth win of the year and ended a four-game losing streak for the Fightins.
Lidge looked very sharp, throwing eight of 11 pitches for strikes while sitting down Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley on back-to-back strikeouts to end it. According to Brooks Baseball, he topped out at over 94 mph on his heater, but he was most impressive with his once-dominant slider. If he can be effective with that pitch on a regular basis, it will obviously be a very good sign for the Phillies.
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.