Jason Castro has missed the entire season after tearing his ACL early in spring training, so the Astros may get their projected starting catcher some 2011 playing time by asking him to play in the Arizona Fall League.
Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that Castro is eligible for the AFL despite playing 67 games in the majors last season and as a 24-year-old 2008 first-round pick he won’t be hugely out of place among the prospects.
Castro was slated to be the Opening Day catcher in Houston and in his absence the Astros have gotten a combined .216 batting average and five homers from the position, which is good for a .572 OPS that ranks dead last among NL teams.
Castro wasn’t going to be a superstar or anything, but his injury is one of many reasons why Houston is trying to avoid a 110-loss season.
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.