Results tagged ‘ Yovani Gallardo ’

Gallardo gets his work in

Reds Minor Leaguers got a heavy dose of the Brewers’ Major League pitching staff on Monday, when a lousy weather forecast prompted the Brewers to juggle their pitching plans. 
Yovani Gallardo threw 92 pitches in seven innings of a Triple-A game against Cincinnati to stay on schedule for his Opening Day assignment. In the Double-A game on an adjacent field, relievers LaTroy Hawkins, Takashi Saito, Brandon Kintzler and Sean Green all got in some work ahead of the rain. 
“It’s definitely a little different,” said Gallardo, who pitched on a side field at Maryvale Baseball Park in front of a few dozen fans. “But you still have the same things you want to work on. Getting to the pitch count is the important thing, too.”
Gallardo was particularly working on his change-up against Cincinnati’s Triple-A club, a pitch he’s tried to hone in recent seasons. He allowed four earned runs and six hits in seven innings, with two walks and seven strikeouts. 
He also executed a perfect sacrifice bunt, nearly hit a home run to left field and singled and scored from second base on a hit. As Triple-A manager Don Money waved Gallardo home, the half-dozen Brewers officials behind the screen stiffened. 
“I was not going to slide, I’ll be honest,” Gallardo said. “It was kind of surprising he sent me from second there.”
Gallardo scored on the play, then went immediately back to the mound because the Reds pitcher had hit his pitch limits. A Reds two-run rally began with a soft ground-ball single up the middle and included a bloop hit that went over shortstop Zelous Wheeler’s head. 
Still, Gallardo deemed the outing a success.
“Coming into spring I said I was going to throw more change-ups, and we tried to work on that,” he said. “I threw a lot here today. I feel a lot more comfortable with it now. I’m trusting it more. It’s going good.”
Gallardo has one more spring start before his March 31 season-opener in Cincinnati. 
“The last start of the spring, you treat it almost as if it were the regular season,” he said. 
Hawkins was very sharp in his Double-A “start,” allowing one hit and no runs in a 16-pitch inning. Saito followed and allowed two runs on three hits including a two-run double that bounced over third base. He struck out one batter and threw 18 pitches.
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Gallardo looks ready; Braddock not so much

Yovani Gallardo put together another quality Spring Training start on Wednesday, holding the Mariners to one run on three hits in 4 2/3 innings before reaching his limit at 74 pitches. In four games, he’s held opponents to four runs in 13 1/3 innings. 

“My command was a little bit off today, but I made some pitches whenever I needed to,” he said. “They battled, fouled off a bunch of pitches and my pitch count got up there.
    
“I feel good. The spring is going very well, and the last couple of starts you try to put everything into it.”
He was in the middle of an exiting moment in the bottom of the third inning, when Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley was called out on strikes by plate umpire Mark Buchanan. Bradley had some words on his way back to the dugout and was ejected. 
Did he have a beef with Buchanan?
    
“From my side, it was a pretty good pitch,” Gallardo said. “Especially on 3-2, I had to make a good pitch and I was able to do that down and away. It was close. I think it was a strike.”
Gallardo is scheduled for three more starts before his Opening Day assignment on March 31.
He appears ready for the season, but it’s tough say the same for left-handed reliever Zach Braddock, who was such an important part of the Brewers’ bullpen in 2010. He worked the seventh inning, and surrendered a single to Franklin Gutierrez, hit Jack Wilson with a pitch and then served-up a three-run home run to Brendan Ryan that tied the game at 4. 
Two days earlier, Braddock walked a batter, hit another and surrendered a two-run homer to left-handed-hitting Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff. His velocity has been down this spring, and you wonder if Braddock, who has all of his Minor League options remaining, isn’t opening a door for somebody like lefty specialist Mitch Stetter. 
Here’s what manager Ron Roenicke had to say on that topic:
“If you know that, ‘Hey this is what we’ve told you to do,’ then fine, but I don’t think Rick [Kranitz, the pitching coach] has necessarily said that,” Roenicke said. “He’s working on some things, no doubt, but he still needs to pitch and get people out.”
Roenicke thought Braddock was better Wednesday after working in some sliders, a pitch former manager Ken Macha also encouraged Braddock to work on. Braddock’s next outing could span multiple innings so the club can get a better look, and it could come in a Minor League game.
On a brighter note, Roenicke was very pleased with Takashi Saito’s inning, and said the right-hander left after the game to pick up his wife and daughters from the airport. It must be a relief for Saito to have his immediate family safe and together considering the issues facing Japan.
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Gallardo gets Opening Day start

No surprise here: Yovani Gallardo will be the Brewers’ Opening Day starter for the second straight season. 
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke made it official on Thursday that Gallardo will pitch the team’s March 31 opener in Cincinnati. The choice had been widely expected since the news earlier this week that Zack Greinke would begin the year on the disabled list with a cracked rib. 
Shaun Marcum and Randy Wolf will pitch the final two games of the season-opening series against the Reds in that order, and left-hander Chris Narveson will handle the April 4 home opener against the Braves. 
“I don’t want to say we lost our ace and now Gallardo’s going in, because Gallardo was also our ace,” Roenicke said. “He was excited. He doesn’t get excited like the other guys, but he had a grin on his face and he was happy on it.” 
Gallardo, 25, also started the team’s 2010 opener and lost to Ubaldo Jimenez and the Rockies. Gallardo worked seven innings that day and allowed three earned runs, a quality start to a season in which he’d go 14-7 with a 3.84 ERA and make his first National League All-Star team. 
Until Greinke was hurt in an early-Spring Training pick-up basketball game, Roenicke faced something of a dilemma with the Opening Day honor. On one hand there was Gallardo, the incumbent and a home-grown Brewer, but on the other hand was Greinke, the team’s prized off-season pick-up and 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner. Greinke was probably the favorite for the opener even after he took a spill on the basketball court, but after making two spring starts with sore ribs he underwent an MRI scan that revealed a hairline fracture of the seventh rib on his left side and a bruise on his eighth rib. 
The Brewers’ season-opening series is March 31-April 3, with an off-day built into the schedule in case of an Opening Day rainout. Then the Brewers return home for a seven-game homestand, beginning with four-game series against the Braves at Miller Park. 
When Greinke was still in the mix, Roenicke toyed the idea of splitting the two left-handers — Wolf and Narveson. But with only four healthy starters, the schedule did it for him, at for the first two series against the Reds and Braves. Wolf and Narveson will face the Cubs in back-to-back games April 8-9. 
“They’re different-type lefties, so it’s not like you’re throwing the same prototype out there again,” Roenicke said. 
Roenicke said the club considered several options that would have had someone else working the home opener but in the end felt comfortable with Narveson, who is entering a Major League season as a member of the starting rotation for the first time. He was 12-9 with a 4.99 ERA in 28 starts and nine relief appearances last season. 
“It’s an important game to us,” Roenicke said. “We feel comfortable with ‘Narvey’ doing the [home] opener. He’s not going to be rattled.” 
The Brewers will need a fifth starter on April 5 or 6, depending on whether Gallardo comes back on regular rest for his second regular-season start or takes an extra day. For now, that fifth man is a mystery, though the Brewers are leaning toward picking from a pool that includes prospects Mark Rogers, Wily Peralta and Amaury Rivas. 
Because of off-days, the club could get through the first week of the season using a fifth starter only three times — April 6, 16 and 26.
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Roenicke close to setting starting rotation

Now that Zack Greinke and Yovani Gallardo each have two spring starts in the books, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Tuesday morning that he was close to naming his Opening Day pitching rotation. 
“We need to do it soon,” Roenicke told reporters, about 90 minutes before he was to sit with general manager Doug Melvin to discuss the plan. “We need to make decisions.”
Roenicke expected to make the plan public by Wednesday. The Brewers’ season-opener is March 31 in Cincinnati.
It’s a “tricky” call for the Brewers’ rookie manager, Greinke said last week, because the team has three pitchers who started 2010 Opening Day. Greinke handled that honor for the Royals, Gallardo for the Brewers and Shaun Marcum for the Blue Jays. 
That trio of right-handers is set for the Opening Day rotation along with two lefties, Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson.
Roenicke has spoken individually to all three pitchers and said he was considering a number of factors, including the pitchers’ own opinions.
“We’re very fortunate to have three guys who can start Opening Day,” Roenicke said. “I don’t think too many organizations have that. … The question here, coming into it, was Yovani has been here for a while and he’s a No. 1. Do you go with him because he’s been here and you owe it to him? 
“Then, also, talking to the guys, I wanted to know what they were thinking. … Their response to me makes a big difference on where I want to put them, because some guys are like, ‘I don’t care. You put me where you want to put me.’ Other guys are, ‘Hey, I’m expecting to be your No. 1 guy.’ Sometimes you play to that personality.
“It’s just like anything else, you put these guys in a position where you think they’re going to succeed best. If I think Yovani is going to succeed best at No. 2 or No. 3, then that’s where I want to put him. Marcum, he’s a bulldog, probably wants to be that No. 1 guy. Personalities have a lot to do with where we end up slotting guys.”
Matchups also play a role. The Brewers play the Reds on March 31 and April 2-3, then return home for an April 4 home opener against the Braves that begins a four-game series and a seven-game homestand. 
“Obviously, you want to win that first game, you want to start your season off [well],” Roenicke said. “But you also want to do the things that set you up for the next days, too.”
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Greinke wants Opening Day, too

Given his famous competitiveness, it came as absolutely no surprise on Tuesday when Zack Greinke said he would like to start for the Brewers on Opening Day. 
Greinke spoke following his much-anticipated, if unofficial, Milwaukee debut, and anyone can check the calendar and see the former Royals ace is on an every-five-day schedule that leads directly to his second consecutive Opening Day start. But anyone — including Greinke — can also check the roster and see there are two other pitchers who took the ball in 2010 openers, including Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers’ incumbent and All-Star who said last month that he’d like the honor for the second straight year. Shaun Marcum is a Brewer, too, and he started the Blue Jays’ 2010 opener. 
Greinke realizes that manager Ron Roenicke is in something of a pickle. 
“Everyone wants to pitch Opening Day, but whatever is decided, it’s not like anyone’s going to cry if they don’t get it,” Greinke said. “I was thinking about it. It’s kind of tricky.” 
Roenicke was relayed that comment following the Brewers’ 3-1 win over the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. 
“Good answer, Zack,” Roenicke said with a smile. 
With that, Ronicke went quiet. He isn’t ready to reveal his pitching plans for the first week of the Brewers’ regular season, though he told reporters earlier in the day to expect something soon. 
The skipper hinted in previous days that he would use left-hander Randy Wolf in Game 3 of the season to separate him from the other lefty, Chris Narveson, who will be fifth out of the chute. That leaves Greinke, Gallardo and Marcum to fill Games 1, 2 and 4. The first is the team’s March 31 season opener in Cincinnati, but the fourth game is just as big because it’s the Brewers home opener. Roenicke made clear he views that as a prestigious assignment. 
Still, everybody seems to want Opening Day. 
“But that’s good,” Roenicke said. “If guys are upset about not pitching that opener, that’s good. Any time you have guys that want the ball all the time, that’s great to have.” 
So, stay tuned.
For more on Greinke’s first outing and some video of his postgame media scrum, check Brewers.com later today. 
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On Gallardo and bobbling heads

One of the best parts of this job is figuring out what topics will generate interest and discussion from the fans. You spend a couple of weeks working on a feature story about Yovani Gallardo’s progression from high school slugger to Major League pitcher, and hear very little. Then a couple of years later, you throw together a blog about 2011 bobblehead giveaways and Gallardo isn’t on the list, and you’re slammed with e-mails and Tweets. 

Go figure. 
So, I asked around a bit and here are some thoughts and best guesses about the bobblehead lineup:
– First off, I would bet all of my Marriott points that Gallardo is on the list for 2012. 
– I hear that Gallardo was on the list for 2011, but then the Brewers picked up Zack Greinke and started using him as the poster boy for their marketing efforts. You have to capitalize on the excitement surrounding his arrival. 
– Why didn’t they just bump somebody else to make room for Greinke? The Racing Hot Dog giveaway is sponsored by Klement’s so he’s safe. Craig Counsell is a hometown favorite and he’s also 40 and signed for one year, so you’d better feature him while you can. John Axford and Casey McGehee are coming off career years, so why not give them a little love while they’re hot? Randy Wolf is entering the second season of a three-year deal and is pretty popular after finishing last season so strong. It probably makes sense to get him out of the way now since Gallardo is in a long-term contract and it looks like he’s going to be pretty darn good for the next couple of years. 
– You don’t want to do all of your stars at once. So, Greinke is probably the 2011 headliner and you save Gallardo to headline 2012. Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart (so I’m told — I don’t remember a Hart bobble) have all been done since the bobblehead craze began. If you do Greinke and Gallardo this year, who’s your star for 2012? No offense, Jonathan Lucroy.
– Most importantly… I grew up in Wisconsin, so just like you I am genetically engineered to be drawn to free stuff, even if it’s an “I closed Wolski’s” sticker that goes straight into a desk drawer, but why is this something we’re even talking about? I’d rather go to a game and watch Gallardo pitch than go home with a doll that sort of looks like him. 
Now, if you’ll excuse me, Wolski’s has free popcorn.
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Braun, Gallardo named Silver Sluggers

Ryan Braun told us that it would go this way. He said so in early August, when he was coming off a July that saw him hit an even .200 and left his batting average entering the Brewers’ July 31 game at .273, 35 points off his career average entering 2010. He owned a .325 on-base percentage that day, 38 points off his career mark, and a .459 slugging percentage, 92 points off. 
“If I finish strong,” he said a few days later, “there’s no reason I can’t have just as good a season I had last year. There’s no reason I can’t have my best season if I finish great this year.” 
In the end, he didn’t have his best season, but he did have another good one. Braun batted .364 over his final 55 games with nine home runs and 35 RBIs and finished the year batting .304 with 25 home runs and 104 batted in. He boosted his on-base percentage up to .365, and his slugging percentage to .501. 
The reward came Wednesday, when Braun was honored with this third consecutive Silver Slugger Award as one of the National League top hitting outfielders. Braun is only the second player in franchise history to win the award three years in a row — sweet-swinging first baseman Cecil Cooper won it from 1980-82. Robin Yount also took home the award three times, but not in consecutive seasons. 
For the first time in nearly three decades, Braun was not the Brewers’ only winner. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo won his first career Silver Slugger Award as the NL’s top hitting pitcher. He batted .254 and led pitchers with four home runs and 10 RBIs. No other pitcher belted more than one homer in 2010. 
“It always feels good, especially as a pitcher, in situations where you can help yourself out,” Gallardo told reporters in San Diego on May 1, after he limited the Padres to one run in eight innings and belted a difference-making homer in a 2-1 Brewers win.
This season marks the first time that the Brewers had multiple Silver Sluggers since 1982, when Cooper and Yount were honored. 
Besides Braun, the other Silver Slugger-winning NL outfielders were Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies and Matt Holliday of the Cardinals. Other 2010 Silver Sluggers were Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and Braves catcher Brian McCann.
“Whenever you’re recognized for doing something at the end of the year, it’s rewarding,” Braun said this week. “It’s nice to know that the hard work you put in has been noticed, and it’s paid off.” 
He called the Silver Slugger Award, “a tremendous honor.” 
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Gallardo robbed at gunpoint

Brewers spokesperson Tyler Barnes confirmed that right-hander Yovani Gallardo and one of the team’s clubhouse attendants were robbed at gunpoint early Friday morning on Milwaukee’s south side.
The robbery was reported by WTMJ Radio, the Brewers’ flagship station. According to the report, Gallardo and the club employee, Alex Sanchez, handed over money and jewelry to the robber, who struck Sanchez in the head with the butt of his gun. Gallardo was unhurt, Barnes said. 
“We are aware of it, but we do not have any other details other than Yovani and Alex do not care to discuss it further,” said Barnes, the Brewers vice president of communications. 
The incident occurred at about 2:30 a.m. on Friday, hours after Gallardo lost an afternoon game to the Dodgers at Miller Park. 
Gallardo planned to make a statement to the media at Miller Park at 4:20 p.m. CT but made it clear he would not answer questions. 
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Gallardo looks for win No. 12

Nothing out of the ordinary in the Brewers lineup Friday night as they open a three-game series with the Padres.

With left-handed starter Wade LeBlanc on the mound for the National League West leaders, Brewers manager Ken Macha has rookie Lorenzo Cain in center field, leaving Chris Dickerson on the bench for the third straight game.
Here’s the rest of the lineup:
Weeks  2B
Hart  RF
Braun  LF
Fielder  1B
McGehee 3B
Cain  CF
Escobar  SS
Lucroy  C
Gallardo  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
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Cain sent down, clears spot for Gallardo

The Brewers indeed returned to a 13-man pitching staff on Thursday, optioning outfielder Lorenzo Cain back to Triple-A Nashville to clear a roster spot for right-hander Yovani Gallardo to return from the disabled list. Gallardo will start against the Pirates tonight in the finale of a four-game series, and I’ll post the lineup here as soon as it’s available. 

Can you really blame Ken Macha for wanting 13 pitchers? A Brewers starter has allowed at least 10 runs four times in the last 12 games, including three times in the last four games and two straight. Randy Wolf was the victim on Wednesday night, when he stayed in the game long enough to surrender a career-worst 12 runs. 
To find a poorer four-game stretch for one team’s starters, the Elias Sports Bureau had to go back to 1937, when St. Louis Browns pitchers allowed at least 10 runs in three consecutive games. Browns pitchers did it twice more that month. But, according to ESPN.com, you have to go back a year further, to the 1936 Philadelphia A’s, to find the last time a team had four different starters surrender at least 10 runs in a single month.
Here’s the lineup:
Rickie Weeks  2B
Joe Inglett  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Jim Edmonds  CF
Jonathan Lucroy  C
Craig Counsell 3B
Alcides Escobar SS
Yovani Gallardo  RHP
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