Key Stats: Overrated. Bump bump bumpbumpbump. On the bright side, Yovani Gallardo is a good power pitcher. He has finished in the top 15 in strikeouts in MLB each of the last two years. Only eight other pitchers have done this, and all eight of those pitchers are ranked ahead of Gallardo. The seven double digit strikeout games he had were as many as Tim Lincecum - the MLB leader in strikeouts the past two seasons.
Skeptics Say: On the dark side, the 1.31 WHIP in 2009 was already high, so when the WHIP goes to 1.37 in 2010 that’s a problem. Gallardo qualified as having the ninth highest walks per 9 innings ratio last season. In 13 of his 31 starts he allowed at least three free passes. Gallardo was also allowing line drives 24% of the time last season as compared with just over 19% the season before.
Peer Comparison: I have Max Scherzer ahead of Gallardo and CBS does not. Although Gallardo has already had a season in which he made just four starts, Scherzer is probably the bigger risk as far as injuries are concerned. After that though I’ll take Scherzer. At first glance, the numbers are pretty close.
Gallardo – 3.84 ERA 1.37 WHIP 9.73 K/9 3.42 xFIP
Scherzer – 3.50 ERA 1.25 WHIP 8.46 K/9 3.71 xFIP
Digging deeper though, Scherzer has a lot more momentum heading toward next year. His numbers from May 30th on looked like this:
2.46 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 9.25 K/9
Gallardo’s numbers were far more inferior during that same stretch of time:
4.46 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 9.77 K/9
Team Outlook: Gallardo was a much better pitcher at home in 2009, but there was not much difference in his splits in 2010. According to ESPN Park Factors, Miller Park falls right in the middle of the league in terms of runs, so the numbers should continue to be similar both at home and on the road. Gallardo was a bit unfortunate as far as run support given that he had six quality starts that went for no decisions, but in all of his losses he allowed four runs or more. That’s not a stat many pitchers are fortunate enough to have with last year being the year of the pitcher and so many pitcher’s duals taking place last season.
Projection: There is still room for development in just his third big league season, so perhaps I’m being a bit hard on him, but I’m assuming the walk problem doesn’t go away.
14 wins 3.90 ERA 1.35 WHIP 212 K in 201 innings
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