Is It Time To Be Concerned About Yovani Gallardo?

Yovani Gallardo is one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at his August line.  Despite a solid overall line of 3.50 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, he has taken numerous beatings over the past month.

In fact, he has allowed four earned runs or more in his last four starts.  It’s six earned runs or more in each of his last two starts.

These are clearly disturbing numbers, considering his sparkling first few months.  You have to wonder, did his time on the DL in July for an oblique injury have a greater effect then we realized?

It’s an interesting question, to say the least.

While Gallardo hasn’t enjoyed much luck all season long, the luck has been especially bad over his past five starts.  In the first four months of the season, when he posted a 2.77 ERA and 1.32 WHIP, he suffered from a .328 BABIP.

Over the past month, his BABIP is .379, seventh worst in the league (interestingly enough, other big names like Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee are worse then he is).

Before we say that it is strictly bad luck, he has allowed a line drive rate of 27.3% this month, the worst in the league.  In fact, he’s a full percentage point worse then the next closest competitor (Jonathan Niese at 26.2%) and is one of only four pitchers greater then 25%.

Now, you have to wonder, is the BABIP poor luck or is it just bad skill?  Considering last season he posted a line drive rate of 19.2%, and still for the year he is at 23.6%, it surely looks like something is not right.

For whatever reason, opponents have been teeing off on Gallardo in his last four starts, and it doesn’t look to just be based on the luck regressing.  Whether it’s the after effects of the injury, fatigue, tipping his pitches or whatever else, his effectiveness just isn’t there.

As a fantasy owner is there anything you can do about it?  Not really.  It would take a heck of a lot of guts to bench a pitcher who is still striking out over a batter an inning with the potential to turn it around at the drop of a hat (especially considering the improvement in his control from last season).

The fact is, he’s the type of pitcher that you just have to roll with and hope that he can figure out the problem and rectify it.  It’s difficult to stomach, but obviously, stick with him and hopefully reap the benefits.

What do you think the problem with Gallardo is?  Are you concerned or do you think he will turn things back around?

4 comments

  1. Michael Keneski says:

    second year in a row this happened….the dan haren syndrome?

  2. TY says:

    i hate dan haren

  3. Frank Kim says:

    I would be a bit concerned. Two years in a row he’s had a second half fade. Is it conditioning? Is he just a first half pitcher? It will be interesting to see how he does in September. Really you have no choice but to continue starting him.

  4. Chief Aloique says:

    Hard to say what’s going on here. For the most part, he’s still racking up the Ks by the bushel, so I don’t think there’s an injury here and I haven’t heard any talk of shutting him down early like Milwaukee did last year.

    I’m guessing something like this: his natural talent accounts for the Ks, but something is preventing him from bearing down with extra intensity and focus when he gets into jams. In other words, he’s mailing it in until the end of the season. Okay, so what causes this? Again, just guessing, but it could be any number of things, or a combination of all of them: No realistic shot at a division title or wild card, playing on a pitching staff that aside from him is full of jokes and no-hopers (including a bullpen that many times this year couldn’t hold leads for him), very few teammates from his peer group, playing in a provincial small market like Milwaukee . . . beyond his showing up and collecting his paycheck, I don’t see any real motivation on display there. (None by management either).

    In fact, that malaise, whatever it is, seems to have affected most of the team’s front-line players. You could say that on the hitting side, Ryan Braun’s season is similar to Gallardo’s on the pitching end. He’s having an “okay” season by the standards of the league averages, but he’s certainly not having a Ryan Braun: Superstar season.

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