Tag Archive | "Gallardo"

Yovani Gallardo And The No “K” Corral

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Yovani Gallardo And The No “K” Corral

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Will Emerson

Sometimes you may not notice certain things about certain players because you don’t pay attention to their every at bat, inning pitched, or whatever. Even in this wonderful age, where so much information is at our fingertips at virtually all times, things can slip past and go unnoticed to the baseball-loving masses. I mean, sure, if it is a “superstar” that is struggling mightily or a mighty struggler producing like a “superstar” then, yeah, the media and talking heads will notice and sort of force feed this information down our proverbial throats. However, for the majority of players, you know the tweeners or those on the cusp of stardom or, for that matter, mediocrity, certain statistics or information can be widely missed. All of this, as you should have guessed from the title, brings to me to the ever talented, Yovani Gallardo.

Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers, must frustrating pitcher ever?

First, let me set the scene, even though many of you reading this are probably familiar with YoGa’s tale. Yovanni Gallardo broke into the majors with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007, with ace-like potential. A young stud ready to become the Brewers’ ace of the future. Well, Yovani has never quite made the jump from very good to superstardom. Gallardo has been very solid in his almost six (he missed almost all of 2008) major league seasons with Milwaukee. Gallardo has not posted an ERA over four since coming onto the scene, however he also has not posted an ERA below 3.52 in the majors. Okay, well, YoGa did have an ERA of 1.88 in ’08, but that was in only four starts, so I am not really going to count that, if you don’t mind. Of course, as you may also know, I don’t hold complete faith in the statistic that is ERA, so to really paint you a picture, his SIERA has fallen between 3.22 and 4.08 in those seasons. Surprisingly, that 4.08 SIERA was during that extremely short ’08 season, so again, I don’t hold much stock in that year’s numbers. Regardless, you can kind of see that Gallardo was decent, solid, or any number of synonyms for decent or solid, but never quite made the leap to stardom. Many probably thought of Yovani as an ace coming into 2013 and, to be fair, he is the Brewer’s ace. Gallardo, definitely was thought of as a guy who was very close to becoming that breakout stud picther. Gallardo has been better than a great deal of starting pitchers in his career, that is for darned sure. Gallardo’s, ERAs, WHIPs, FIPs and K/9s have regularly been a good deal ahead of the league averages each season that he has pitched. Still, Yovani was not quite in that first tier of starting pitchers and there were still folks waiting for a big breakout season from the Brewers’ ace.

The Brewers tried to stack the cards in their favor, by adding Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum to their rotation, which would definitely take some pressure off of young Gallardo, where he would not be expected to carry the rotation on his back. Now those guys are gone and the “ace” label was now, without question, affixed to Gallardo in Milwaukee. So would this be the breakout season? Sure, Yovani does have control issues and little lapses at times, but every picther does, at least every now and then, right? Well, fast forward to today. Gallardo, possibly poised to take the next step, has struggled a bit in this young 2013 season.  Gallardo’s current ERA is 4.25, with a WHIP of 1.47, which of course will not tell us the whole story. The SIERA at 4.48 does give one pause here though. Seems like his ERA is pretty much an accurate depiction of Gallard’s season thus far. Now, it is early in the season, so generally I would not be ready to push the panic button on Yovani just yet. However, here is the thing, regardless of those fluctuating ERAs or WHIPs, bits of wildness here and there, or anything else that could be simply attributed to a slow start, my main concern falls more with Gallardo’s strikeouts, or lack thereof.

See, a lot of mistakes can me covered up/ fixed by a good strikeout picture and this tried and true mantra has certainly applied to YoGa throughout his career. Yovani Gallardo is a strikeout pitcher. Well, perhaps it should be was? Yovani Gallardo, was a strikeout pitcher. Below are YoGa’s K/9 numbers for his career coming into 2013:

2007- 8.24

2008- 7.50*

2009- 9.89

2010- 9.73

2011- 8.99

2012- 9.00

So basically throught his career Gallardo could generally be counted on to strikeout roughly a batter per inning pitched. That, right there, is a good strikeout pitcher, folks! So, what the heck (pardon my French) is happening now?

Gallardo, went into Monday night’s start not only having been very hittable in his first five starts, but posting a K/9 of 5.28. In fact in four of his first five starts, Gallardo struck out three or fewer batters. Could this be a cause for concern? Well, kind of depends on why this is happening, I suppose. First place I look, when I notice a big strikeout drop is  velocity. in 2010, Gallardo’s average fastball was clocked at 92.6. It was the exact same in 2011. In 2012, it dropped almost a mile per hour, to 91.7. This year? Another drop of about a mile per hour on his average fastball, to 90.6. All of his other pitches have also dropped roughly the same amount in velocity. I am not sure this drop should be a huge concern just yet, as it is still early in the season and YoGa may need to still work the arm out a bit. I am not entirely sure, in that regards, but here is another interesting nugget, Gallardo’s four seam fastball percentage thus far in 2013 is 31.9%, which is almost ten precent less than his percentage last year. Gallardo has instead been going to the two seamer much more than he has in the past, 25.4% in ’13 as opposed to 14.5% in ’12.  So, is it possible, that Gallardo is not as confident in the four seamer and or is not fooling many hitters with his two seamers? Or maybe he is just not fooling hitters, much at all? With any of his pitches? Batters are making contact on just about 75% of Yovani’s pitches they chase out of the zone. Now, I don’t have any data with how hard these balls have been hit, but considering this percentage was 65% last year and has only been higher than that once in his previous six seasons, I think we can make the general assumption that Yovani is just not baffling hitters nearly as much as he has been in the past.

Now, again, it is early and maybe this is absolutely something that can be worked on and adjusted. Heck (there’s that potty mouth of mine again), maybe it is just an early season slump that is not indicative of how the season will pan out for Gallardo. The sample size is very small and it is always dangerous to read much into early season numbers, but I think you can see some things that may bear monitoring with Gallardo as the season progresses. Gallardo did put together a very good outing on Monday, against the Pirates, and while I don’t see updated pitch data from that game, it should be pointed out that in his previous start against the Padres, his average fastball was the fastest it has been all season, at 91.4%. Interestingly, in the Padres start, Gallardo threw far more changeups than any other previous 2013 start, but also only struckout two batters, while walking five, so not sure what is really going on with Yoga. Hopefully Monday’s outing, in which he finished by striking out three of the last five batters he faced, will be more indicative of things to come for Gallardo, even if those three batters were Gaby Sanchez, Clint Barmes and Jonathan Sanchez.

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An Open Letter To My Fantasy Baseball Team

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An Open Letter To My Fantasy Baseball Team

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Trish Vignola

Dear Team “Beat with an Uggla Stick,”

Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers, must frustrating pitcher ever?

Hi,there! Remember me? I’m Trish, your general manager. I’ve given you the finest in fantasy facilities. I even forwent telling your fantasy girlfriends about your fantasy wives. I’ve treated you well.

So, riddle me this…why are you falling apart on me so early in the season?!

First, Yovani Gallardo – what are you doing? CBSSports.com projected that you were good to give me 205 innings and 18 wins. Do you know what you’ve given me so far? 7 points in three weeks and a DUI charge. A DUI charge?! If I wanted prospective prolonged absences due to legal issues, I would have kept Ryan Braun! You of course are one of my keepers. Nonetheless, you are useless to me when you have to miss a game due to a court date. It looks like you’ll be ridding my fantasy pine for a while.

Next, Josh Hamilton – which personality are you working with today? You gave me 9 points the first week, 23 the next week and -1 the next. Negative one! I didn’t even know you could do that. CBS Sports says that you cites an adjustment period behind your slow start. An adjustment period? I’m starting a new job. I get an adjustment period. You have a 5-year, $125 million contract. You doesn’t get an adjustment period.

Your adjustment period has resulted in 10 strikeouts and just one hit in your first stretch of games. Your 3-for-4 performance on Sunday lifted your batting average above .200 for the first time this season.

“Of course, there’s always an adjustment,” you told MLB.com on Sunday. I’m starting to hate that word.

“You go to spring training and you think you’re adjusted and then you make another move. You had to bring the family to L.A., had to get settled in and get in a routine as far as finding where things are around the stadium. It’s just a process. It’s been good to get into routine.” Really? Get a map.

I’m not going to start on Barry Zito and your atrocious outing this week. You were going to have to lose at some point. However, let’s discuss you, Ryan Vogelsong. You are another one who found new and exciting ways to give me negative points. Really?! However, I’m not giving up on you yet. You struggled last April before turning things around in May. Apparently, it’s normal for you to deal with reduced velocity early in the year. Last season, you were only throwing in the high-80s early in the season. By September, you were hitting between 92 and 94 mph with your fastball. I won’t cut you loose after just two starts. However, you don’t have until September to get warmed up. If I don’t see drastic change happening soon, you might see yourself on the bench next to that dummy Gallardo.

In my fantasy Steinbrenner days, I would have backed the fantasy truck up on my fantasy baseball team a week ago. I’m hanging tough for now. Nonetheless, Willin Rosario cannot hit for the entire team. If things don’t start improving soon, I will ignite a fire sale that would make the Marlins organization blush.

Love Always,

Your General Manager

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Ruth Gehrig hold

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch – Holds Reviewed

Posted on 06 September 2012 by Patrick Hayes

Ruth Gehrig hold

Well well, time is rapidly dwindling down in this 2012 year and we have reached the point where I review on my decisions to buy, sell or hold. This week I’ll gloss over all of the “holds” I issued. Since these, in theory, are the less sexy picks and less risky, might as well get them out of the way immediately. First, let us remember the blessed souls I decided to take an indecisive stance with:

Seems like an All-Start lineup for yesteryear, right?

I’ll now rank them in order of performance of falling in line with their “hold” designation. Not sure if this will makes sense, but hey, lets roll with it. One being a great hold (think Kate Upton), six being an awkward hold (think Oprah [?!])

  1. Yovanni Gallardo – He has been rock solid and should have been a buy candidate. Gallardo has assumed ace of the staff with Grienke gone and has posted a 6-1 record since my article posed on July 23. He had two bad outings with seven earned runs each, but bounced back nicely with  a minimum of seven innings pitched in all his wins. The consistency is still a hesitation from deeming him among the elite, maybe in 2013.
  2. Cliff Lee – This pick was pretty much a no-doubter. I mean come on, he had one win heading into my article post on August 13. Since then he notched two more wins vs zero losses with four quality starts. In these 28.1 IP he has struck out 31 and only walked two. Yup, definitely along the lines of his expectations on the year. Be glad to own him down the stretch.
  3. Tim Lincecum – Seems I completely rock the pitchers on this, huh? To be fair Lincecum only had one appearance since my post on August 27, but he was solid, to the tune of 6.1 IP, seven K’s and three walks. It is apparent that Tim still hasn’t completely rediscovered his CY Young caliber, but all signs point to a big sigh of relief. I’m still holding and waiting on him.
  4. Desmond Jennings – Following up his breakthrough 2011 year with shattered dreams. As of August 20 he was batting under .250 and was getting dropped all together in many formats. Since that article he has brought his average above .250 and is hitting .318 in the past 14 days with three homers and two stolen bases. The Rays are heating up as well (think Evan Longoria means anything to this team? Should he be in the MVP discussion?), and Desmond has been a benefit and not a liability along the way. Expect to see the Rays in the postseason (just have that feeling) and we will really see the type of player Jennings will be heading into 2013.
  5. Chase Utley – God bless your heart. You are still out there playing on fragmented knees and glimmers of the golden years. Yes, since August 6 you have had your ups and downs, but of late, it’s mostly down. August was a solid month, but your average on the year has gone down since I posted, but you have hit seven more homers and knocked in 23 (that’s a positive, right?!). You, more than any other, are what you are. Your name in a fantasy lineup still demands glance backs and some fear in opposing managers, however, that luster is almost off as well. Will an off-season of rest help your health? Time will only tell, and the Father is not on your side. (
  6. Justin Upton – You should have sold him when you had the chance this year. Prior to my post on July 16, Justin’s slash line was .264/.351/.393 and today it sits at .271/.350/.405. Still completely lacking sex appeal. The only hope for owners of the younger Upton is that this 2012 year is an outlier and Justin will bounce back in 2013 motivated and rejuvenated. Heck, I might even buy him off you for nickels on the dollar.

In review, I feel pretty good as to the players I picked. A few bounced back big time and some just disappointed. Current day, I would now buy two of them, keep holding two and sell two. What are your thoughts?

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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JeffSamardzija

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Shark Week: The Jeff Samardzija Evaluation

Posted on 15 August 2012 by Will Emerson

We are in the midst of one of the greatest weeks of the year folks. That’s right, it is Shark Week ladies and gentleman! No better time to try and figure out the real fantasy value of Jeff “The Shark” Samardzija than by taking a bite out of his numbers! You see, The Shark has actually been very solid for the Cubbies this season. Even more solid than his 8-10 record would indicate. Even more solid than his 4.06 ERA would indicate. And yes, even more solid than that 1.28 WHIP would indicate. Don’t believe me? Well then, let’s dive on in and look inside his numbers this season.

Generally, I do not hold much stock in a starting pitcher’s win-loss record because there are just way to many factors that are out of the pitcher’s control, like the rest of their team for example. Shark’s team, the Cubs, have been one of the worst offensive teams this season. Their wOBA is better than only the Mariners and no one has scored fewer runs this season than the Cubs, so the run support is not always there. Thus, I am not too concerned about the actual  win-loss record Shark is sportin’. Instead, let us take a look at his Wins Above Replacement (WAR) as compared to the rest of the qualifying starting pitchers in the majors. Samardzija has a WAR of 2.8, which is tied with Madison Bumgarner this year for 23rd best amongst qualifying starting pitchers this year. Samardzija is owned by less than 50% in ESPN and Yahoo! fantasy leagues, yet at the very least, in real life, he is worth more wins above a replacement player than the much more widely owned likes of Yovanni Gallardo, CJ Wilson, Mat Latos and Jon Lester. Now, sure WAR does not necessarily translate into fantasy value, but it is a good jumping off point for our purposes. Now, hows about we get into some advanced stats and see what Shark has been doing this season, shall we? That was a rhetorical question.

While his actual ERA is up over four his xFIP is over a half of a run lower at 3.51, which is a highly decent number. Decent enough for 19th among all qualifying starting pitchers this season. That xFIP is better than that of some of your no name pitchers like Matt Cain, Jered Weaver, Tim Hudson and Dan Haren. Now let me be clear, I am not necessarily saying Samardzija is a better pitcher than these other fellas. Don’t go trading Jered Weaver for Samardzija or anything crazy like that, but just keep an eye on the Shark. Shark also shows that he has the stuff to get to that 3.60ish ERA with a SIERA of 3.59. In case you were wondering, and I know you were, his SIERA is better than that of Jered Weaver, again, Yu Darvish, Mat Latos and Yovanni Gallardo, among others. Again, it is not that Shark has been better, per se, but for a guy with these numbers, you would think he would be owned in a few more fantasy leagues. Now I realize this is what he has done this season, and he has had some bumps in the road (read June), so while in my mind he has been somewhat undervalued this year, the question is, are his numbers sustainable to make him a future fantasy stud? Or, in other words, is this season and an advanced stat anomaly? Well let us take a looksie!

Samardzija has an 9.09 K/9, good for 8th in the league among qualifying starting pitchers and this number is the real deal. The Shark’s average fastball is 95 MPH, and only Stephen Strasburg and David Price, perhaps you’ve heard of them, have a faster average fastball. When you can throw gas like that you can tend to miss quite a few bats. But that is just the straight gas, he also mixes in a two-seamer, a cutter and a split-fingered fastball into the repertoire as well. He just started tossing the cutter and the splitter more this season, allowing him to use the straight four-seam fastball less than usual, down to 54.5% of the time, the lowest of his career by almost 5%. The average velocity of the Shark’s cutter is 92 MPH and his average two-seamer has been about 94.7 MPH, meaning these come in to hitters close to the same speed as his four-seamer, but with some more movement. His mixing of these pitches has led to batters chasing balls out of the strike zone a little over a third of the time, up 3% from last season. In comparison, David Price has batters chasing balls out of the zone only 25% of the time and he has never had that percentage over 30%. Cy Young candidate R.A. Dickey? He is getting batters to chase 34.5% of the time which is higher than Samardzija, but not by much, so Shark is showing that he has the tools in place to be a must have fantasy starter.

From the numbers above, and remember these numbers are with a clunker of a June thrown in there, you can see the potential and judging by the fact he is still unowned in over half of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues this season, he could be a heck of a sleeper pick for a fantasy playoff team down the stretch and a nice fantasy sleeper pick in 2013. Now this is only his first full season as starter, so it is a small sample size, but things are looking good for Shark. The Ks should stay in the same range and look for that ERA to drop into the mid to high threes, say the 3.50-3.75 range. I see him as hovering the top 25 of starting pitchers next season, meaning he will be a solid two, most likely, three starter for your fantasy rotation, but you should be able to get him for fourth or fifth starter prices on draft day. Samardzija is gonna be fantasy gold, so get on the bandwagon while you can and prepare for next year to be the year of the Shark!

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R.A. Dickey, New York Mets, sell his stock!

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: R.A Dickey…Buy?

Posted on 23 July 2012 by Patrick Hayes

Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch – R.A. Dickey, Tommy Milone and Yovani Gallardo

Welcome back to another edition of Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch. This week I am featuring three starting pitchers who have had varying levels of success in this 2012 year. I want to prefix by making note that I currently do not own any of these three, but I wish I did for the reasons below. On with the stock watch!

R.A. Dickey – SP, New York Mets

R.A.  Dickey, New York Mets, sell his stock!

#2 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

R.A. (Robert Allen, in case you were wondering) has been one of the most surprising and intriguing stories of the year thus far. With an ADP of 298, he has been your waiver-wire goldmine to date. His WAR ranks 5th of SPs at 3.4, t-1st for wins with 13, ERA of 2.84 for 10th and a WHIP of 1.01 for 5th overall. Needless to say, he has been stellar thus far.

On the flip side, his season K/9 of 8.91 is considerably higher than his career average of 6.01 which indicates he is playing with house money at this point. His last 34 1/3 IP have been of the rocky-road variety, and I’m not talking about the delicious ice cream. Yielding 20 Earned Runs in his last five appearances (ERA of 5.24, WHIP of 1.37), it seems that a switch may have been flipped. Couple this with the atrocious Mets defense and an ugly skid of losing 9 in 10 games and you are left with a glimpse of reality that doesn’t have a favorable future. Now is the perfect time to include him in a trade to an owner that will gobble up his stats so far this year while hoping the past few outings are just a hiccup in a stellar year.

My verdict: Perfect Sell High Candidate

Tommy Milone – SP, Oakland Athletics

Tommy  Milone, Oakland A's, buy this pitcher!

#29 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

Tommy Milone on the other hand, has been stellar of late. In his last 32 IP he has only walked two batters, while striking out 34 and yielding four earned runs. He also has been a key ingredient to Oakland’s still-baffling success this year. While he doesn’t fair quite so well outside of The Coliseum (5.69 to .91 road to home ERA), his BABIP is down this year to .282, which is closer to his career average. However, four of his next six starts will be at home.

Bottom line, I love how he isn’t giving many free passes to base runners and being effective in his outings (could throwing his change-up more often be part of this reason?). Don’t expect him to fan 10 each time he goes out, just like he did versus the Yankees, but play him with confidence knowing that you will get six of seven innings pitched while giving up a few hits, but your ERA and WHIP will be lower because of it. In my eyes, he would be a good player to secondarily target in part of a bigger trade, or while positioning yourself next year if you are out of the playoffs and are looking for a bargain keeper in dynasty leagues.

My verdict: Buy Low Candidate

Yovani Gallardo – SP, Milwaukee Brewers

Yovani  Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers, must frustrating pitcher ever?

#40 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

Mr.Galalrdo has been a frustrating pitcher to many owners throughout the course of this 26 year-old’s career so far. The only consistent aspect to his pitching each year is the inconsistencies, seemingly without reason. This year is more of the same, brilliance one start(7 IP, 14K’s, 4 H, 1 ER vs PIT on July 15th) and then aggravation the next (5 2/3 IP, 1 K, 9 H, 4 ER at CIN on July 21st).

He has all of talent in the world (career K/9 north of 9.05) but continues to struggle with his control (career BB/9 of 3.49). Because of this, he may never grow into the ace pitcher role on any staff, but will always be considered a solid number two option in any rotation. Taking all of this into consideration, he is still a pitcher on your team, but will require patience and tempered expectations. If/when he ever turns that corner and increases his control, you will be glad you have him on your staff.

My verdict: Hold while crossing your arms in anxious angst.

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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