Braves center fielder Michael Bourn hasn’t played since September 22 because of a mild sprain in his left thumb. But things are suddenly looking up.
David O’Brien of the Altanta Journal-Constitution reports that Bourn has a “good chance” of returning to the starting lineup for Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Mets and that he’s been held out of recent games mostly as a precautionary measure
“The big thing is we don’t want to get a setback,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told reporters on Saturday. “We’re running out of games and we don’t want to get a setback right now.”
As it stands, the Braves will host the Cardinals in the one-game NL Wild Card playoff next Friday.
Bourn, 29, is batting .274/.346/.391 with 39 stolen bases and a career-high nine homers in 151 games.
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.