Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo blanked the Reds over six and one-third innings of work, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out three in his first start after returning from the disabled list. He had been out since July 31 with a strained left hamstring. He sat in the high-80’s and low 90’s with his fastball, reaching as high as 93 MPH.
Reds starter Mat Latos was nearly as good, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks in seven innings while striking out six. The Brewers got their two runs on a two-out, two-run double by Logan Schafer in the bottom of the fourth. Closer Jim Henderson struck out the side in the ninth for his 18th save of the season.
With the Pirates losing 15-5 earlier, the Cardinals were the big winners of the night with a 4-0 victory over the Cubs. The Cardinals now trail the Pirates by just two games and the Reds remain 3.5 games behind.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”