Padres right-hander Aaron Harang returned from the disabled list with a bang on Saturday, hurling six innings of no-hit ball against the Dodgers.
It was a bit surprising to see San Diego left-hander Josh Spence take the mound in the seventh inning with Harang’s no-hitter still intact and his pitch count still hovering at 95, but there’s little doubt that it was the correct baseball decision.
Harang hadn’t appeared in a major league game since June 9 and pitched only four innings Monday evening in his final minor league rehab start with Single-A Lake Elsinore. On top of that, the sun was beating down all afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
The Padres’ bullpen nearly managed a combined no-hitter after Harang’s exit, but Dodgers infielder Juan Uribe hit a two-out double in the bottom of the ninth and Dioner Navarro followed with a walkoff RBI single.
Harang lowered his ERA from 3.71 to 3.45 with the remarkable six-inning effort. He’s enjoyed a career resurgence this season in San Diego and could draw interest later this month if the Friars want to shop him.
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.