4:30 p.m. EDT – From 257 at-bats between homers to… ummm… zero at-bats between homers. Jeter went deep again, this time against Arthur Rhodes, in the seventh inning.
Derek Jeter hit his first homer in 63 games dating back to last August when he took Dave Bush deep in the fifth inning of Sunday’s game against the Rangers.
Of course, it came against a pitcher he never should have been facing for a third time on the day.
Bush, who had pitched just four times in the Rangers’ first 34 games, was called on today to make a spot start because of Alexi Ogando’s blister. He did his job, limiting the Yankees to two runs over the first four innings, but he allowed Jeter to go 2-for-2 in the process.
With those two hits, Jeter improved to 6-for-12 lifetime against Bush, begging the question of what Bush was still doing out there when Jeter came up to lead off the fifth.
Bush was pulled immediately after the homer, so it’s not like Ron Washington was caught unaware. He knew there was a good chance he’d be turning to the bullpen in the fifth inning; he just blew it by not starting the inning with a reliever.
The blast ended the longest homerless drought of Jeter’s career (257 at-bats). One of his previous hits also drove in a run, making this his first multi-RBI game of the year. It’s the second time he’s had at least three hits.
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.