Jim Leyland announced that Anibal Sanchez will start Game 1 of the ALCS and while the Detroit manager didn’t lay out his rotation plans beyond the series opener it’s likely that Justin Verlander throwing 111 pitches in his dominant outing against the A’s last night means he won’t be available until Game 3 versus Boston.
And so the poor Tigers will have to use the American League ERA leader, Sanchez, in Game 1 versus the Red Sox and then likely use the soon-to-be American League Cy Young winner, Max Scherzer, in Game 2. Must be tough.
Sanchez had a rough start against the A’s in the ALDS, serving up three homers and allowing six runs in Game 3, but he led the league with a 2.57 ERA in 29 regular season starts while racking up 202 strikeouts in 182 innings.
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.