Matt Cain feels good after first start since last July

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Giants right-hander Matt Cain was back in action this afternoon for the first time since last July 9 and he did so against a familiar foe. Cain, who had season-ending surgery last August to remove bone spurs from his throwing elbow as well as ankle surgery in September, needed just 20 pitches to get through two perfect innings against the division rival Dodgers.

Cain threw 13 out of 20 pitches for strikes and was able to mix in all of his pitches. He topped out at 92 mph. According to Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com, Cain was happy with his performance.

“That went really good,” Cain said. “It was definitely good to go back out there and get that extra competitive adrenaline going, which was really nice.”

Last year was a frustrating one for Cain, who posted a 4.18 ERA and 70/32 K/BB ratio in 90 1/3 innings over 15 starts. In addition to the elbow and ankle injuries, the 30-year-old had stints on the disabled list for a lacerated finger and a hamstring strain. Perhaps most frustrating of all, he had to watch from the sidelines as the Giants won another World Series. Cain had a 4.00 ERA in 2013, so it’s fair to wonder how much he’ll bounce back at this point, but it’ll be a nice boost to the Giants if they can count on him for 30-plus starts and 200-plus innings again.

Gallegos agrees to 2-year, $11M contract with Cardinals

Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals
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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.