Coaches, Gallardo meet
Prized right-hander Yovani Gallardo met with a trio of Brewers coaches on Thursday morning to discuss his schedule for the final two weeks of the season but the plan will remain a mystery until Friday. Gallardo would prefer to keep pitching, but said he’s open to the idea of calling it a season.
“I don’t think anybody is very excited when it comes down to being shut down,” he said. “But, the other thing you have to look at is that they might be doing things to protect you as a player.
“You have to see both sides, what’s best for the organization and what’s best for the player. That’s the way that I feel.”
If he stays on schedule, Gallardo would start Sunday against the Astros at Miller Park, and indeed he threw his usual between-starts bullpen session at Wrigley Field on Thursday morning. But recently-promoted prospect Josh Butler also threw in the bullpen, and was told to be ready to pitch in some capacity on Sunday.
“Hopefully, I’m able to go,” Gallardo said. “I say ‘hopefully’ because we only had a plan through Tuesday [when Gallardo returned after nine days off and lost to the Cubs] and then we were going to go day-by-day. But I just got done throwing a bullpen, and that’s a good thing. .. At this point, I’m starting Sunday.”
His meeting was with manager Ken Macha, pitching coach Chris Bosio and bullpen coach Stan Kyles. General manager Doug Melvin is also in Chicago and wanted to chat with Gallardo in person, but as of late Thursday morning, that sit-down had not happened.
Until it did, Macha wasn’t willing to reveal his intentions.
“Let’s let him talk to Doug,” Macha said. “We kind of has an extended conversation with Doug [on Wednesday] about ‘Yo’s’ status and we’ll let you know completely [on Friday] what’s happening. I think we’re on the same page, but before we stick it in print, let’s let everybody feel good about their conversations.”
Perhaps it’s not an either-or proposal between Gallardo and Butler. The Brewers could decide to start Gallardo on Sunday — Melvin’s bobblehead day — but hold him to a limited pitch count before turning to Butler.
In that scenario, Gallardo would have a chance to notch the three strikeouts he needs for 200. Only three other Brewers pitchers have reached that milestone including Gallardo’s Mexican countryman Teddy Higuera, who did it twice.
“That’s a good mark to get to,” Gallardo said. “But like I said, it comes down to the same thing. Staying healthy is the No. 1 thing, winning games is second and then everything else is after that. Hopefully I’m able to get there. If not, hopefully further on in my career I get that opportunity. Hopefully there will be a lot more opportunities. “
Butler, meanwhile, would be making his Major League debut. The Brewers acquired him last April from the Rays for outfielder Gabe Gross, and he put up a 2.97 ERA at four Milwaukee affiliates this season.
“I just want to get it over with. I want to get out there for the first time,” he said. “I talked to [fellow call-up John] Axford about it and he said he was more nervous during his nine days sitting there than when he actually got up and into a game. When he got into the game, it was all the same, and now he’s not as nervous anymore.
“Right now, it looks like ‘Yo’ is going to start, but that might change. I’m ready, whatever the plans are.”