Gerald Laird sets new high with six-game hitting streak

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Tigers catcher Gerald Laird went 2-for-5 in Wednesday’s 12-inning loss to the Royals, extending his hitting streak to a career-high six games.
The huge day, which included a double for his 11th extra-base hit in 237 at-bats this season, raised his average to .203. It’s the first time all season that he’s finished a game with an average over the Mendoza Line.
Before this week, Laird had hit in five straight games just once before, that happening in May 2008. Once a reasonably productive catcher, Laird hit .296 and slugged .473 in 243 at-bats for the Rangers in 2006. Even two years ago, he came in at .276/.329/.398 in 344 at-bats for Texas.
Laird, though, was pretty brutal in his first year as the Tigers’ starting catcher in 2009 and he fell completely off the map this year. At 537, he has the worst OPS of any major leaguer with at least 250 plate appearances this season.

Report: Brewers sign Yovani Gallardo to a major league deal

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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.