According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he expects catcher Victor Martinez (thumb) to be ready to return from the disabled list on Monday. Like, this Monday. Tomorrow.
Martinez caught a Clay Buchholz bullpen session on Saturday and reported no abnormal pain or discomfort in his once-fractured left thumb. His return to the everyday lineup will be big, as Francona told the Globe.
“You’ve got your switch-hitter right smack in the middle, that would be good,” said the manager.
V-Mart was batting .289/.344/.480 with nine homers and 38 RBI in 246 at-bats at the time that he was placed on the disabled list. The Red Sox have entrusted starting catching duties to Kevin Cash and Dusty Brown while he has been out because veteran backup Jason Varitek is sidelined with an injury of his own. It’s safe to say they’re about to get an upgrade.
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.