Results tagged ‘ Yovani Gallardo ’

Positive progress for Gallardo

Brewers general manager Ken Macha offered good news on the Yovani Gallardo front Friday: The injured right-hander played catch for 10 minutes from 90 feet during the afternoon in his first activity since straining a rib-cage muscle on Sunday in St. Louis. 

“Today would have been his day to pitch, he got some throwing and I asked him afterwards how he felt and he said, ‘Pretty good,’” Macha said. “That’s a very positive sign.”
Gallardo, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Monday with a strained left oblique, is eligible for reinstatement beginning July 20, when the Brewers are scheduled to play the second of four games in Pittsburgh. Macha couldn’t say whether it was realistic to think that Gallardo could actually return on that date. 
“We’ll monitor that as we progress with his throwing,” Macha said. 
Gallardo will have to continue his rehabilitation off-site, because he will be in Anaheim next week for All-Star Game festivities. He was selected to the National League squad on the same day he suffered the rib-cage injury.
Macha should have another injury update on Saturday, when reliever LaTroy Hawkins is scheduled to throw a simulated game at Miller Park. Hawkins has been on the DL since May 9 with right shoulder fatigue. 
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Gallardo placed on DL, All-Star hopes dashed

The Brewers decided to play it safe with their ace right-hander on Tuesday, placing right-hander Yovani Gallardo on the 15-day disabled list with a left rib-cage strain and officially removing him from eligibility for next week’s All-Star Game. 

The injury bug bit Gallardo on Sunday in St. Louis, only hours after the 24-year-old was named to the National League All-Star team for the first time. He was examined Monday afternoon by head team physician William Raasch, who recommended further tests later this week. 
Gallardo said he still plans to travel to Anaheim for All-Star festivities, even if he’s unable to pitch. Major League Baseball will name a replacement in the coming days. 
To replace Gallardo on the 25-man roster, the Brewers activated left-hander Doug Davis from the 15-day DL. Davis, who has been sidelined since he developed inflammation around his heart in mid-May, is scheduled to take Gallardo’s spot in the starting rotation beginning Friday.
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Brewers pitchers raking at plate

MILWAUKEE — Facing the Brewers, the No. 9 spot in the batting order is hardly an easy out. Yovani Gallardo reaffirmed that Tuesday night, going 1-for-1 with a solo homer and a walk.

 

With a .219 batting average, Brewers pitchers lead the National League. Milwaukee’s pitching staff is tied for first with 33 hits and 14 runs. Brewers pitchers also rank first in home runs (3), RBI (14), doubles (8), on-base percentage (.261), slugging percentage (.331), and OPS (.592).

Along with their success, the Brewers staff has even coined a phrase to describe it.

“These guys have got a quote in here in the dugout,” said Brewers manager Ken Macha, “they say, ‘Pitchers rake.’”

While the hurlers’ ability to swing that bat has come in handy quite a bit of late, Macha would like to see them improve on another aspect of the game at the plate: bunting.

The Brewers rank last in the NL with just eight sacrifice bunts, while they have four times as many hits.

“We’ve been working on our bunting,” Macha said. “We’ve got more hits than we do sacrifice bunts. So we’ve been putting some time in on the bunting because eventually we’re going to need to move [a runner] up.”

Still, on the current homestand, Brewers pitchers have been even better at the plate than their season average of .219. More than double that even.

With eight hits in 18 at-bats, the pitching staff had posted a .444 batting average entering Wednesday’s final game of the homestand. Along with that .444 mark, the Brewers have gotten two RBI, five runs, a walk and a home run out of the pitcher’s spot.

Each of the Brewers five starters — Gallardo, Randy Wolf, Dave Bush, Chris Narveson and Manny Parra — has contributed at least one hit while all of them except Bush have either scored a run, driven in a run, or both.

“We have some pretty good [hitting] pitchers,” Gallardo said. “We have a lot of fun up their hitting. Wolfy, Bushie, Narveson and Manny, we take it serious. For certain situations you can only help yourself out. I think that’s what we try to do.

“We joke around out there when we hit BP, but you never know when it’s going to come in handy.”

– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

Macha wants most from Gallardo

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.” 
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Gallardo pitching, batting eighth

For the second time this season, Brewers manager Ken Macha has the pitcher batting eighth and his middle-of-the-order hitters all one spot higher in the order. Here’s the full lineup:

Rickie Weeks  2B
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Corey Hart  RF
Carlos Gomez  CF
George Kottaras  C
Yovani Gallardo  RHP
Alcides Escobar  SS
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Braun on Gallardo: 'He deserves it'

Count left fielder Ryan Braun among the Brewers fans happy to see the team lock-up Yovani Gallardo on Thursday.
“I think it’s great for the city to know that we’re going to have our ace to build around for the next five years,” Braun said. 
Gallardo’s new five year contract runs through 2014 and buys out one of his would-be free agent seasons. It also includes a club option for 2015.
That puts him right in line with Braun, who signed a seven-year extension in 2008 that runs through 2015. 
“I’m excited,” Braun said. “First and foremost, I’m excited for Yovani. He deserves it, and I know that the financial security is a great thing. That’s something I can relate to. I’m excited to be with him for at least the next five years.”
It’s no secret that Braun and the rest of the Brewers would like to see another player join the long-term party. But Braun downplayed the possible impact Gallardo’s signing could have on the team’s ongoing discussion with first baseman Prince Fielder, whose situation is completely different because he is less than two years shy of free agency. 
Gallardo, for contrast, was four years shy before he signed his new contract. Braun was six years short when he inked his deal. 
“I don’t think it really relates to Prince too much,” Braun said. “But if Prince does stay on, he wants to know we’re going to have a good team, and knowing that Yovani and I are going to be here for the next five years, it should give him some peace of mind that we should at least be competitive.”
Braun knew that the team was in talks with Gallardo but didn’t learn a deal was done until it was announced on Thursday afternoon. 
His own negotiation was similarly quiet. Braun’s agent, Nez Balelo, handled talks with the Brewers with little fanfare before a deal was announced one morning in May 2008.
“It makes a lot of sense for [Gallardo] and it will make a lot of sense for the team is he continues to be this good,” Braun said. “It provides some cost certainty for them and they’ll probably save some money in the long run. 
“I do think it’s a trend. Teams have to come early, obviously, because the closer you get to free agency or arbitration, the harder it is to give up those years at what looks like a discounted price. But for players, that financial security is tough to give up. I think it makes a lot of sense for the player, and for the team you get some cost certainty but you’re also taking a risk. You have to believe in the guy and his work ethic.”
That’s why club executives speak often of only doing extensions with the “right” player. Braun is pretty sure that Gallardo falls into that group.
“They don’t get any better than him,” Braun said. “His poise, his composure, his personality. You can’t ask for more in a pitcher.”
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More Gallardo details

Here are a couple of additional details about Yovani Gallardo’s new, five-year contract with the Brewers. 

– It is indeed the richest deal ever for a pitcher with two-plus seasons of Major League experience, surpassing Jon Lester’s deal with the Red Sox. Lester got $30 million; Gallardo is guaranteed $30.1 million. 
– The sixth-year option is technically a club option, but Gallardo can take control of it through a point-based system of performance. Gallardo needs to accumulate six points over the first five years of the deal; he gets five points for winning a Cy Young Award, three points for finishing second and one point for finishing third. 
– Gallardo gets a full no-trade clause for the first three years of the deal. After 2012, he can add 10 teams to a limited no-trade clause. 
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Lester deal looks like guide for Gallardo

The Brewers followed a trend when they signed 24-year-old right-hander Yovani Gallardo to a contract extension on Thursday. Develop young pitchers, test them in the big leagues, then lock them up. 
That was the path followed by Gallardo and the Brewers, who struck an agreement on a five-year, $30.1 million contract that buys out all three of Gallardo’s arbitration seasons and one year of free agency. There’s also an option for 2015, which could give the Brewers their ace through a second season of would-be free agency and could push Gallardo’s take all the way to $42.5 million. 
It’s essentially a Jon Lester contract. Lester, the Red Sox left-hander who overcame cancer, agreed last March to a five-year, $30 million contract that included a $13 million club option for a sixth season. If that option is exercised, Boston will have bought out two of Lester’s free agent years. 
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan, who broke the news of Lester’s deal, that contract was the richest ever for a pitcher with around two years of Major League service (Lester had two years, 75 days). Now it appears that Gallardo, who has two years and 108 days in the big leagues, has him beat by just $100,000.
Here’s the breakdown of Lester’s deal as reported by WEII.com last March:
2009: $1 million
2010: $3.75 million
2011: $5.75 million
2012: $7.625 million
2013: $11.625
2014 club option: $13 million or $250,000 buyout
And Gallardo’s as reported by the Associated Press on Thursday:
2010: $500,000 plus $1.25 million signing bonus
2011: $3.25 million
2012: $5.5 million
2013: $7.75 million
2014: $11.25 million
2015 option: $13 million with $600,000 buyout
When Lester signed his contract, he had 27 Major League wins in 60 games and 354 2/3 innings with a 3.81 ERA and 262 strikeouts. Gallardo entered this season with 22 wins in 54 games and 320 innings with a 3.57 ERA and 325 strikeouts. 
The Brewers and Red Sox are far from the first teams to take this approach with a pitcher, trading the obvious risk for the potential reward that comes with a productive, relatively young and cost-certain arm for a few extra years. This year alone, the Rangers have struck a similar pact with Scott Feldman, and that came after Matt Cain and the Giants, Nick Blackburn and the Twins, Felix Hernandez and the Mariners and Josh Johnson and the Marlins. All of those pitchers were either drafted and signed by those teams, and all of their extensions gave the team control of at least one year of free agency.
I am working on a story about this trend that will appear later on Brewers.com and MLB.com. And, of course, we will have Gallardo’s thoughts about his suddenly-fat wallet and the team’s explanation of that option.
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Gallardo gets five-year, $30.1 million deal

The Brewers on Thursday announced a new, five-year contract for right-hander Yovani Gallardo that will keep the club’s home-grown, 24-year-old, Opening Day starter in-house through at least his first season of free agent eligibility.
The Associated Press reported that Gallardo is guaranteed $30.1 million in the deal and could earn $42.5 million including an option for a sixth season in 2015. The details of that option will be among the topics covered in a press conference at Miller Park scheduled for 3 p.m. CT. 
According to the AP, Gallardo receives a $1.25 million signing bonus; $500,000 payable when the contract is approved by Major League Baseball, $500,000 on July 15 and $250,000 on Nov. 15. His 2010 salary was bumped up to $500,000 and he will earn $3.25 million next season, $5.5 million in 2012, $7.75 million in 2013 and $11.25 million in 2014. The 2015 option calls for a $13 million salary with a $600,000 buyout.
Before Thursday, Gallardo was set to earn $450,000 in his final pre-arbitration season. He would have been salary arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season, putting him on track to reach free agency during the 2013-14 offseason. 
Now Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has succeeded in delaying his young ace’s entry into the market. Melvin struck a similar deal nearly two years ago with left fielder Ryan Braun, whose extension runs through 2015 and covers two years of free agency. Braun was also 24 when he signed. 
Teams take on risk in deals for such young players but in return get cost certainty and perhaps the chance to delay free agent departures. Players may leave some money on the table versus going year-to-year through arbitration, but they get a lifetime of financial security in return. 
The Mexican-born, Texas-raised Gallardo, Milwaukee’s second round Draft pick in 2004, lost his Opening Day start against the Rockies but is showing signs of growing into a four-pitch Major League ace. 
He returned in 2009 from an ’08 season lost almost entirely to knee injuries and went 13-12 with a 3.73 ERA. He became fourth different Brewers pitcher to top 200 strikeouts in a season — his Mexican countryman, Teddy Higuera is the only Brewer to do so twice — and ranked third among National League starters with a .219 batting average against. 
“He could be in the top handful in the game,” said new Brewers catcher Gregg Zaun. “He’s got all the ability, so now it’s going to be about polishing. He can polish some command, some different pitch sequences, adding and subtracting velocity here and there. He definitely has tremendous life on his stuff.” 
The Brewers now have their top two starters signed through 2012 and under control through 2013. Left-hander Randy Wolf signed a three-year contract during the Winter Meetings in December that includes a club option for 2013. 
Melvin has kept his talks with Gallardo’s agent, former Major Leaguer Bobby Witt, out of the spotlight since the sides agreed to a one-year contract early last month. At the same time, Melvin has been in ongoing discussions with first baseman Prince Fielder about an extension of his own, though Thursday’s press conference is not expected to include any new information about Fielder. 
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Brewers planning announcement

The Brewers are planning a 3 p.m. CT press conference at Miller Park and appear poised to announce a long-term contract extension for right-hander Yovani Gallardo, the club’s home-grown, 24-year-old Opening Day starter. 
Terms of the deal will not be made official until later Thursday, but other teams who have extended their young pitchers in recent months have covered the player’s arbitration seasons and given the club control over at least one season of the player’s free agent eligibility. 
Gallardo’s original 2010 contract calls for a $450,000 salary in his final pre-arbitration season. He would be salary arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season, putting him on track to reach free agency during the 2013-14 offseason. 
Now Brewers general manager Doug Melvin may have succeeded in delaying his young ace’s entry into the market. Melvin struck a similar deal nearly two years ago with left fielder Ryan Braun, whose extension runs through 2015 and covers two years of free agency. Braun was also 24 when he signed.  
If Braun is a blueprint for the type of control Melvin is seeking over Gallardo, it would have to be a five-year contract that replaces Gallardo’s existing deal for 2010.  
Teams take on risk in deals for such young players but in return get cost certainty and perhaps the chance to delay free agent departures. Players may leave some money on the table versus going year-to-year through arbitration, but they get a lifetime of financial security in return. 
The Mexican-born, Texas-raised Gallardo, Milwaukee’s second round Draft pick in 2004, lost his Opening Day start against the Rockies but is showing signs of growing into a four-pitch Major League ace. 
He returned in 2009 from an ’08 season lost almost entirely to knee injuries and went 13-12 with a 3.73 ERA. He became fourth different Brewers pitcher to top 200 strikeouts in a season — his Mexican countryman, Teddy Higuera is the only Brewer to do so twice — and ranked third among National League starters with a .219 batting average against. 
“He could be in the top handful in the game,” said new Brewers catcher Gregg Zaun. “He’s got all the ability, so now it’s going to be about polishing. He can polish some command, some different pitch sequences, adding and subtracting velocity here and there. He definitely has tremendous life on his stuff.” 
If Thursday’s announcement is indeed about a Gallardo extension, the Brewers would have their top two starters signed through 2012 and under control through 2013. Left-hander Randy Wolf signed a three-year contract during the Winter Meetings in December that includes a club option for 2013. 
Melvin has kept his talks with Gallardo’s agent, former Major Leaguer Bobby Witt, out of the spotlight since the sides agreed to a one-year contract early last month. At the same time, Melvin has been in ongoing discussions with first baseman Prince Fielder about an extension of his own, though Thursday’s press conference is not expected to include any new information about Fielder. 
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