The Baltimore Orioles add a major piece to their rotation by signing Yovani Gallardo to a three-year deal. How will he fair in the American League East?
The next big domino falls.
The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a three-year deal with veteran pitcher Yovani Gallardo. This has been rumored for weeks, but became official Saturday night. With the struggles the Orioles rotation had last season, adding pitching depth with a top priority. Gallardo spent most of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers before being traded to the Texas Rangers last season. Will he pitch well in the power-hitting AL East?
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In eight seasons with the Brewers, including the shortened 2008 season, Yovani Gallardo went 89-64 with a 3.69 ERA, 1.303 WHIP, 8.6 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. He made one All-Star appearance and finished seventh in the National League Cy Young voting in 2011. He was then traded to the Rangers before the 2015 season began. He went 13-11 with a 3.42 ERA, 1.416 WHIP, 5.9 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 33 starts.
Last season was a bit of a decline in Gallardo’s career. His K/9 and 6.5 swinging strike percentages were the lowest of his career. Batters were not chasing his out-of-the-strikezone stuff either, 26.0 O-swing percentage, worst since 2012.
The upside to Yovani Gallardo is that he was able to have good success pitching in two hitter-friendly parks, Miller Park and Globe Life Park. The park he is going to, Camden Yards, finished third in runs, second in home runs and third in hits. The Orioles rotation had a 4.53 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, 25th and 21st respectively. Gallardo will be a great addition to this team.
The negative is that the AL East had some of the best offenses in the league. Three of the teams he would be facing finished in the top five in runs and RBI and top 12 in hits; and all four teams were in the top 15 in home runs. This division can hit the ball very well to say the least.
It’s tough to say what kind of success Yovani Gallardo will have in Baltimore. He could either rock it and post a sub-3.00 ERA or get rocked and have an ERA over 4.00. To play it safe, I’m going to go right down the middle. He’s been an average pitcher throughout his career. His strikeout ability seems to be going down, but has been lucky enough to have good defense behind him. It will be the same for this year. Let’s just hope he can keep the hits inside the park like last year as well.
Projections: 12-10, 3.55 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 129 strikeouts
Draft: Round 22