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April 4, 2013 posted by Chuck Anderson

Buy Low or Cut Bait? Yovani Gallardo

Buy Low or Cut Bait?  Yovani Gallardo
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Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers SP

Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers SP

By Joshua Kay

It’s tough to delve into credible analysis with only one outing on Gallardo’s resume to start the 2013 season, but there are numerous reasons to be concerned – one of which involves a surprising study conducted after watching Gallardo’s start Monday.

Gallardo’s line from Monday’s outing was as follows:

5 IP 10 Hits 3 Runs 3 Earned Runs 1 Walk 3 Strikeouts 2 HR allowed 56% Strikes

 

Besides the obvious ten hits allowed and only three K’s in five innings, the two home-runs stand out as the most concerning stat from Gallardo’s start. Although it’s noteworthy that the two players to hit homeruns off him were Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.

“It’s just Opening Day”, and  “it’s an extremely small sample size,”  are very reasonable arguments to throw back in my face for already noting concern over Gallardo, but perhaps this study will change your mind.

To take a closer look at Gallardo, we have to research all the pitchers that gave up a home-run in their first start of the year and note their first half ERA. The question that needs to be answered is “does giving up a home-run in a pitcher’s first outing substantial provide evidence to suggest a first-half filled with bad stats and struggles?”

Take a look at the table with the names of pitchers that gave up a home-run in their first start. The criteria filters include a top three pitcher on the staff from the previous season, walks + hits in the outing must have been equal to or less than three (the latter filter gets rid of pitchers that obviously had a good outing and made very few mistakes). Pitchers thrown out by the latter criteria include Lance Lynn, Justin Masterson and Brandon Morrow.

 

Pitcher Opp Team IP Hits Earned Runs Walks K’s HR’s Allowed 1st Half ERA
Yovani Gallardo Cardinals

3.2

7

6

5

3

4

4.14

Ricky Romero* Indians

5

3

4

3

4

1

4.94

Carl Pavano Orioles

7

5

4

2

1

1

6.00

Jason Vargas A’s

5.1

5

2

1

3

1

4.54

C.C Sabathia *DL* Rays

6

8

5

3

7

2

3.45

James Shields Yankees

5

9

6

3

3

1

4.04

John Danks *DL* Rangers

6

6

3

0

6

1

5.70

Colby Lewis *DL* W-Sox

6

7

2

1

9

1

3.51

Tim Lincecum* D-Backs

5.1

6

5

1

7

2

5.60

Ian Kennedy Giants

6.2

9

3

2

3

1

4.20

Jeremy Guthrie Astros

7

4

3

3

1

2

6.56

Francisco Liriano Orioles

4

8

5

2

4

1

5.30

Josh Beckett Tigers

4.2

7

7

1

3

5

4.06

Dan Haren*DL* Royals

5.1

11

5

1

5

2

4.53

Hiroki Kuroda Rays

5.2

8

4

4

2

1

3.17

M. Bumgarner Diamondbacks

4

7

4

2

3

2

2.85

Daniel Hudson*DL* Giants

6.2

5

4

2

4

2

7.35

Matt Garza *DL* Nationals

6

5

2

1

5

1

4.01

Ricky Nolasco Reds

8

6

3

0

5

2

4.78

Mat Latos Marlins

4.2

7

4

2

4

1

4.42

Adam Wainwright Brewers

5.2

4

3

1

6

1

4.75

Jair Jurrjens Mets

4.1

7

3

3

3

2

6.08

R.A. Dickey Braves

6

5

2

4

3

1

2.15

Ervin Santana Royals

5.2

7

5

2

2

2

5.12

Phil Hughes Rays

4.2

5

2

2

5

1

4.48

Gavin Floyd Rangers

5.2

5

4

2

3

3

4.80

Matt Cain Diamondbacks

6

6

5

2

4

2

2.53

Carlos Zambrano Reds

6

4

4

2

6

1

4.12

Jeff Samardzjia Nationals

8.2

4

1

0

8

1

5.05

Bud Norris Rockies

7

4

2

3

8

1

4.90

 

Notes

  • *Highlighted in Red are pitchers that gave up a home-run in their first outing, yet went on to record a very good first half.
  • The

  • first half split numbers use data from Baseball HQ.

 

As clearly shown by the table, there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that home-runs allowed in a pitcher’s first outing of the season plays a huge factor in whether or not they will struggle in the first half.

So what does this all mean for fantasy GMs with Gallardo on their rosters? Should they sell?

Well here are some final numbers to chew on before that decision should be made:

Average Fastball Velocity in 2011: 93.36

Average Fastball Velocity in 2012: 92.40

Average Fastball Velocity on Monday: 90.95

 

Gallardo used his fastball only 27% of the time on Monday despite using it over 40% of the time in 2012 and 2011. He threw his sinker 39% of the time against all hitters (which he usually has only used against lefties).

Should this trend continue for Gallardo, it could indicate the transition of Gallardo into a ground-ball pitcher in order to alleviate his home-run issues. Gallardo has also shown the lack of a change-up to keep left-handed batters off balance and this could also factor into the use of his sinker. He’s a guy to monitor closely going forward. Owners shouldn’t panic yet, but if a good offer comes in, take it.

 

 

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