Zach Schonbrun of The New York Times reports that New York City Council member Rafael Espinal is preparing to propose legislation that would require the Mets and Yankees to extend protective netting to 90 feet from home plate at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, respectively.
Major League Baseball issued a recommendation to teams last year that netting be extended to 70 feet from home plate and most teams complied. According to Schonbrun, one-third of teams have extended netting beyond 70 feet, including the Pirates and Phillies. The Phillies’ situation was well-publicized last year as a fan was struck by a Freddy Galvis foul ball in August. After the game, Galvis said, “It’s 2016 and fans keep getting hit by foul balls when you’re supposed to have a net to protect the fans. The fans give you the money, so you should protect them, right?” The next day, another fan was hit by a foul ball in nearly the same spot and Galvis threw his hands up in disgust.
The players seem to be very much in favor of extending protective netting.
Espinal shares the players’ point of view. He said, “I’m baffled by why this is such a big issue. You have the money to put up the netting. You would avoid the headaches of having to deal with injured fans. Your players would feel less guilty when they go up to bat. Everyone can enjoy the game in peace.”
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.