The Pirates announced this afternoon that right-hander Charlie Morton underwent surgery Monday to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. The surgery was performed by Dr. Thomas Byrd in Nashville.
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review hears that Morton is expected to be sidelined for six months, a timeline which could put his status in doubt for the start of the 2012 season.
Mimicking Roy Halladay’s mechanics, Morton bounced back from a miserable 2010 campaign to go 10-10 with a 3.83 ERA and 110/77 K/BB ratio in 171 2/3 innings over 29 starts this season. Only Jake Westbrook and Derek Lowe had a higher ground ball rate than Morton’s (58.5 percent) among qualified starters. Morton, who turns 28 years old on Wednesday, will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter.
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.