There’s no official word yet on who the Brewers will bump from the starting rotation to make room for Kyle Lohse, but Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that it’s expected to be right-hander Mike Fiers.
That speaks pretty highly of the Brewers’ rotation depth because Fiers was damn good as a 27-year-old rookie last season, starting 22 games with a 3.74 ERA and 135/36 K/BB ratio in 128 innings. On a lot of teams that would make him one of the top 2-3 starters, but on the Brewers it likely means a trip to the bullpen to make room a guy who wasn’t even signed a week ago.
Milwaukee will apparently turn to 23-year-old prospect Wily Peralta to fill out the rotation behind Yovani Gallardo, Lohse, Marco Estrada, and Chris Narveson. He mostly struggled at Triple-A last season, but Peralta pitched well in a 29-inning Brewers debut and rates as the 69th-best prospect in MLB by Baseball America.
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.