Grading the Brewers: Yovani Gallardo
Secrets don’t make friends!!! Photo: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Since this is a site wide project, many of the writers here will have different ways of grading. I am going to base my grades on three categories; Performance, Attitude, and the “Eye Test”. Granted, one of those will be subjective…but aren’t all grades? If a teacher wants to give you an A, even though you only did B work, who is going to stop them? The answer is no one. This is how I will be grading the 2013 Brewers, deal with it.
My first player is Yovani Gallardo. Rather than wasting time introducing someone you already know and are familiar with, let us just get to his grades.
Performance – C
Statistically his worst season as a pro, but he finished strong enough to not get a D or the dreaded F+. His ERA was over 4.00 for the first time in his career, but the biggest difference I notice in the stat line for 2013 are his strikeouts. Since 2009, Gallardo has struck out over 200 batters every single season…except this one. This season that number was 144. That is almost 60 less K’s then any of his past four seasons. What is puzzling about Yo’s 2013 is that he only gave up 18 HR’s, which is the second lowest total of his career (during a full season). Those numbers point to a loss in velocity and location, which was evident to anyone who watched Gallardo pitch from April until the end of July. Yo started August with a 4.91 ERA and finished the season with a 4.18. That is almost a full run shaved off!! A grand total of 14 earned runs over his final 52.1 innings of work. He may have had a rough season, but those last two months really helped build his trade value for this upcoming off-season.
Attitude – B+
We all know that Yo kicked off the 2013 season with a DUI. While Bud Selig felt like it was not worth a suspension or any sort of discipline, the Brewers organization felt differently. Unlike another Brewers star that shall remain nameless, Gallardo accepted his punishment and acknowledged his fault. This shows that a man has character. I have always believed that Yovani wants to be a Brewer and he always wears his emotions on his sleeve, which I appreciate. Even when things were not going his way, he met with the media and shared his thoughts. It would have been much easier to climb into a bunker and call every season ticket holder to apologize for his poor performance, but he didn’t do that. What Gallardo may have lacked in stuff during the first few months of the season, he made up for in determination. It appeared to me that he was always his harshest critic and that no one was telling him things he did not already know. When he worked everything out down the stretch, he didn’t make a big deal about it or draw attention to himself. Dude just went out and did his job.
Eye Test – C+
I have laid out some stats and discussed some of the issues that plagued Yo in 2013. This C+ is a combination of the D he earned from April until the end of July and the A I would give him for the final two months of the season. It is clearly weighted, since he spent more time in D territory. Once Yo got his location back on track, he looked like the same old Yo. My bigger concern is, “What took so long?”. Why did he need four full months to work out his location issues? Do I blame Yovani, or do I blame pitching coach Rick Kranitz? It is a tough call. Either way, the eye doesn’t lie. He was terrible early, but came on strong.
Overall Grade – B-
Like I said at the start, I can give whatever grade I want. I like Yo. Always have. If a guy has one bad season out of every five he pitches, I think that is something we can all deal with. This season had so many terrible things happen that I find it hard to believe that Yovani’s issues were really anything more than a nuisance. And since the odds are pretty high that he will be shopped at the Winter Managers Meeting, I did not want to potentially send him off with a C. Gallardo is better than average, even in an off-year.