Jeff Keppinger had done a nice job stepping into a bigger role in the Rays’ infield following Evan Longoria’s hamstring injury, hitting .295 with a .728 OPS in 29 games, but now he’s joined Longoria on the disabled list.
Keppinger has a broken right big toe, which happened when he was sitting in the dugout during Saturday’s game and a Martin Prado foul ball struck his foot. That’s some kinda aim, Martin.
To fill Keppinger’s spot on the roster the Rays dealt with the Pirates for Drew Sutton, a journeyman infielder traded for the second time in 72 hours. Keppinger is expected to miss 3-4 weeks, so Sutton will be thrown into the pieced-together infield mix with Sean Rodriguez, Elliot Johnson, and Will Rhymes.
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.