Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
It’s no secret that 2013 was a year to forget for Brewers’ starter Yovani Gallardo. He posted his highest ERA of his career (4.18) and won only 12 games, his lowest total since 2008.
With the possibility of being a free agent after the season (the Brewers have a team option in 2015), Gallardo will have to forget about last season and pitch to his capabilities if he expects a contract extension from Milwaukee or for teams to be interested in him in free agency.
“I think it’s obviously the worst year I’ve had since coming up to the big leagues,” Gallardo said. “My No. 1 goal is to make each year better. Last year, I went in the opposite direction. I have to get back on track and fix the things I have to fix.”
Gallardo saw a decrease in velocity and less command in 2013. His results suffered because of it.
“I don’t want to say any excuses or blame anything on certain things, but I felt a little bit rushed,” Gallardo said. “Trying to get in shape for it and the [groin] injury I had early in spring, that didn’t help. I’m coming in here a little bit more relaxed. I can throw on my own pace. I’m excited.”
The 27-year-old also plans to use his curveball more, a pitch he strayed away from last season.
The Brewers will need Gallardo to be in tip-top form if they expect to compete for the NL Central crown. With the addition of Matt Garza to the rotation, along with veteran Kyle Lohse, Milwaukee should have a solid rotation.
But if Gallardo keeps digressing, the Brewers’ won’t have a chance at the playoffs and Gallardo’s time in Milwaukee will come to an end.