Jeremy Hellickson got the Opening Day start for the Phillies on Monday afternoon against the Reds. He accomplished an Opening Day feat that no Phillie had done since 1918, but he did it in the batter’s box, not on the mound: Hellickson hit an RBI triple in the top of the sixth inning off of Blake Wood. Hellickson became the first Phillies pitcher to triple on Opening Day since Erskine Mayer on April 16, 1918 in the Baker Bowl.
Hellickson, however, regrets hitting that triple because it literally took his breath away. Per Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Hellickson said, “I was catching my breath for about 30 minutes after I got back in there. Last time I’ll be doing that.”
Hellickson’s teammates told him to take some extra time to catch his breath in the dugout before going out to pitch the bottom half of the sixth. He gave up a leadoff double to Adam Duvall before manager Pete Mackanin relieved him with Joaquin Benoit. Mackanin said he had a quick hook with Hellickson as a combination of the triple, the right-hander’s pitch count, the stressful third and fourth innings, and heavy air from a storm that passed through.
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.