Aaron Judge is the top vote-getter in the All-Star balloting so far and, obviously, he and his moonshot home runs are the biggest story of the first half of the season. Not surprisingly, then, he was extended an invitation to the Home Run Derby.
Will he do it? He’s not sure:
“Haven’t decided yet. I’ll think about it for a while and see what we do . . . Just more focused on what I can do for the team right now.”
He’s probably wanting to get the OK from Yankees brass, seeing as how some teams have had kind of an uneasy feeling about their sluggers participating in the past. There’s a notion out there, less so now than there used to be, that participating in the Home Run Derby messes up power hitters. That’s generally been debunked, but it still holds to some degree.
I suspect Judge will participate, especially seeing as though he’ll be down in Miami for the All-Star Game itself. If so, we should expect a show. His power is prodigious and his BP homers are McGwire-eseque. He’ll probably put on a tremendous show.
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.