Why Yovani Gallardo Is A Pitcher To Avoid In 2015

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There were ample reasons to be concerned about Yovani Gallardo as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. Now that he’s been sent to Texas? The concerns have increased dramatically. Let’s take a look at the numbers and determine why he’s definitely now a pitcher to avoid.

The first number is the strikeouts, which have been trending in the wrong direction the past few years as it is. Just look at the chart below:

Season
K/9
SwStr%
O-Swing%
20118.999.0%29.8%
20129.007.8%25.6%
20137.176.9%27.0%
20146.836.9%27.4%

Clearly the upside has diminished in recent seasons, even in 2012 when the number was actually there. Now you put it in the American League, where he will routinely have to face tougher lineups? Sure he will get the Houston Astros regularly, but no longer having eighth place hitters and pitchers to exploit is going to hurt.

Granted Gallardo was able to show better control last season, with a 2.53 BB/9, and was consistent all season long (split of 2.50 and 2.56). That hasn’t been the story of his career, however, with a career 3.31 BB/9. With the move it’s extremely easy to imagine a regression, even if just up to around his career mark, which is going to have a significant impact.

The other notable question is going to be home runs. Gallardo showed a career best 50.8% groundball rate last season, but he still allowed around one home run per nine innings (0.98 HR/9). That’s right around his career average and he certainly doesn’t benefit from the move.  He was calling a hitters park home anyways, so it’s not a huge knock against him. Things just would’ve looked better had he been moved to a more favorable pitchers park.

At the end of the day fantasy owners may be drawn to Gallardo thanks to his name appeal. There’s still the image of a potentially dominant ace who can pile up the strikeouts. That pitcher has been gone for a few seasons, however, and takes another knock now that he’s pitching in the American League.

Let someone else overvalue him thanks to the name and perceived “upside”. Pitching is so deep at this point you should be able to get a higher upside option at a fraction of the cost.

Source – Fangraphs

Make sure to check out all of our early 2015 rankings:

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