Corey Hart has been playing regularly in minor-league camp without any issues and Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that “it’s looking likely” that he’ll be recovered enough from March 6 knee surgery to be in the Brewers’ lineup on Opening Day.
Hart has been playing in minor-league games because that way if he’s not ready to begin the season the Brewers can backdate his disabled list stint, whereas if he plays in big-league spring training games that option disappears.
Hart has had a rough spring, because in addition to the knee surgery he also needed eight stitches and plenty of aspirin after smacking his head while lifting weights. He was initially expected to miss 3-4 weeks after going under the knife and it looks like he’ll hit that target.
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.