Joe Panik gets cortisone shot for lower back injury

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Joe Panik has been held out of the Giants’ lineup since Saturday because of lingering inflammation in his lower back, and it doesn’t sound like the young second baseman is close to returning to action.

An MRI taken earlier this week ruled out anything major, but Giants trainer Dave Groeschner told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News on Wednesday that Panik has been administered a cortisone injection. The shot should help Panik get over the back discomfort, but it’s likely to extend his absence a little further. Kelby Tomlinson filled in at second base Wednesday and went 2-for-4 with three RBI in San Francisco’s defeat of the Braves.

Panik, 24, owns a cool .309/.374/.443 slash line 97 games this season for the Giants.

Report: Brewers sign Yovani Gallardo to a major league deal

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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.