Welcome again to ‘Wacky’ Brewer Predictions’. In the previous article, I discussed my first prediction: Wily Peralta winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2013. My second prediction is one that we as Brewers’ fans have thought about once before. We know how good some of our players are, but the potential they possess is even greater.
In the second part of my predictions, my next prediction for 2013 is…
Yovani Gallardo will win the NL Cy Young Award.
It’s not totally inconceivable to think this can happen, right? Erasing his awful starts against the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals in 2012, Gallardo flat out dominated any line-up he faced. Between the span of May through August, Gallardo was absolutely brilliant, recording a 3.04 ERA in 142 innings pitched. August in particular was Gallardo’s best month as he went 5-0 with a 2.02 ERA and struck out 39 batters in 35.2 innings.
Looking at Gallardo otherwise, he’s been a career 3.63 ERA pitcher which isn’t awful, but at the same time, it hasn’t won him any Cy Youngs. He clearly has the stuff to win the award, but hits a brick wall when he faces teams like the Cardinals. To overcome that though, Gallardo will have to be able to fight through some tough innings. If we look back at Opening Day of this past season, we’ll see Gallardo didn’t even last four innings against the Cardinals as he allowed six runs in 3.2 innings pitched. Ouch. So clearly, St. Louis is his kryptonite, but every pitcher has that one team that remains to be a thorn in their side.
Regardless, Gallardo had a solid 2012 to back up his career best season in 2011. In 2012, Gallardo went 16-9 with an ERA of 3.66, a WHIP of 1.30 alongside 204 strikeouts and 81 walks all inside of 204 innings pitched. He also seemed to have more confidence in his slider as he threw it 22.5 percent of the time whereas in 2011 he only threw it 20 percent of the time. If we take a closer look at Gallardo’s FIP in 2012, we’ll see it was 3.94, or rather average for a starting pitcher. Taking into consideration his 2010 season, when his FIP was the lowest in his career at 3.02, we can see he easily has the potential to be really dominant.
Now obviously for the Cy Young Award, Gallardo is going to have to battle pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, Matt Cain, Cole Hamels and Johnny Cueto and so on, but I think he can compete with them. For once in his career, Gallardo is going to be the sole, I don’t want to say veteran, but something close to it, in this rotation. He’s going to have to step up big in a lot of ways if the Brewers want to stay afloat in the NL Central. Following him in the rotation are going to be pitchers who just started in the rotation last year. Gallardo’s been starting since 2007, so I think the experience helps.
Can Gallardo win the Cy Young? Of course, who would’ve thought R.A. Dickey would have won a Cy Young? Anything’s possible, especially for Gallardo who at 26 (27 by the time the season starts) has already baffled line-ups left and right. Obviously the Cardinals stand in his way from truly establishing himself as one of the so-called “elite”, but regardless to that, Gallardo has proved himself to be an ace.