Brewers manager Ken Macha wants to get the most out of his best pitcher, right-hander Yovani Gallardo. Pitching coach Rick Peterson wants to be sure Gallardo is as strong in September as he was in April.
Those competing aims have led to some interesting conversations of late, Macha revealed on Saturday in the hours before Gallardo’s start against the Rockies.
“I have some disagreement with the pitching coach as far as the amount of rest guys are getting,” Macha said. “He’s always lobbying to give them the extra day.”
Macha and Peterson spent significant time over the past week setting up their rotation for the final three weeks before the All-Star break, and Thursday’s off-day followed by another this coming Monday have opened the door to a number of scenarios.
According to Macha, Peterson preferred giving Gallardo two extra days of rest before a Friday start against Seattle. Instead, Macha lined up Gallardo to pitch Thursday against the Twins on only one extra days’ rest.
“Had we given Yovani another extra day’s rest with the off here, we would go to St. Louis and play four games [from July 1-4] and not have Yovani pitch in any of them,” Macha said. “I just can’t see that happening.
“At the beginning of the year, I kind of said, ‘OK, let’s given everybody an extra days’ rest. We played the Cubs and they beat the daylights out of us because they had their three guys lined up and we didn’t. I like to get input from my coaches, and they have input. I like to give them responsibility, too. But ultimately, I’m the guy who makes the last decision. We went with Yovani pitching in [next week's] Minnesota series so he can end up pitching against the Cardinals.”
This is not to say Macha intends to abuse Gallardo during the dog days of summer.
“We were very protective of him last year,” Macha said. “We shut him down. His arm angle is not dropping down. He says he feels great. I know he throws a lot of pitches. He’s throwing the ball as well as I’ve seen him in my two years here.”