Yovani Gallardo Yovani Gallardo

What should the Brewers do with Yovani Gallardo?


It’s been no secret in Milwaukee that Brewers’ starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo has been having one of his career worst years this season. In early July, Gallardo was the subject of many trade rumors, especially once the Chicago Cubs parted ways with starter Matt Garza, but those rumors soon fell by the wayside.

Heading into the final weeks of the season, what will Gallardo’s future hold come next year?

In 2014, Gallardo will be heading to the last year of his contract, though he does a have team option for 2015. That said, the Brewers are in full control on whatever it is they wish to do with the 27 year-old. Gallardo certainly has the experience that could be valued by many teams, but his actual successes have been far and few between. Gallardo has been a career 3.76 ERA pitcher since his debut in 2007 and in most rotations, he’s a middle of the rotation guy, not a number one like he is in Milwaukee.

Yovani Gallardo has had a rough go of things this season. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

That said, it certainly isn’t to cut down Gallardo as he still is a decent pitcher that can help solidify the middle to end part of a rotation. The Arizona Diamondbacks knew this before the trade deadline this season and they almost made a trade with Milwaukee, who would have received Tyler Skaggs, but the transaction did not happen.

In 2013, Gallardo’s seen a decrease in nearly every category across the board. Perhaps the most eye opening stat for him personally has been his major decline in K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) of 9.00 in 2012 to 6.97 this year. Hitters have also tuned into Yovani a lot more this season with not only an increased batting average of .266 compared to last year’s .237, but an increase in BABIP as well from .290 to .309. Those are some scary rises for a guy who usually has solidified stuff in his arsenal.

What’s been surprising for Gallardo despite his increased stats is that he’s still walking less batters in 2013 (8.9 percent) than in 2012 (9.4 percent), even if it is a small margin. His increases in every stat across the board and sharp decline in stats like left on base percentage have all the makings of an awful year, something that he’s been going through. Even still, we know he’s not this type of pitcher across the board. Gallardo has never sported an ERA above 3.85 for a season in his career except for 2013 where it currently sits at 4.61.

The season graphs on Gallardo (click here) show us that 2013 has been the odd man out for him in his career and there’s absolutely no reason to think he’ll continue to struggle this way heading into 2014. Sure, he’s no ace, but he’s still been a big factor in the past for the rotation, so one bad season isn’t exactly out of the ordinary with most to all pitchers. Fortunately enough, the Brew Crew signed Kyle Lohse just before the season started so that the rotation wouldn’t exactly be lost in the dark.

Moving forward, Gallardo’s time in Milwaukee looks to be coming to an end. When the team made a decision to listen in on offers for him, that tells us Gallardo and the Brewers may not be a match in the near future. So folks, I ask you, what should the team do with him?

Stats courtesy of FanGraphs.