4 Drew Smyly and 5 Yovani Gallardo
who's to say a 5.89 ERA will outweigh a 3.89 one


=== SMYLY ===

Drew Smyly. Is. Good.


=== GALLARDO ===

BaseballHQ has the following eval, which we'll gingerly slip in here:


Missed two months with shoulder injury after rough April, but things hardly improved upon return. Posted career-worst Cmd (K/BB), BPV (overall component skills index), and xERA (predicted not real ERA), while FpK (first-pitch strikes - Dr. D) continues to speak to strained relationship with strike zone. The pitcher you remember from 2009-12 no longer exists. It's time to move on. 

Prediction:  1.47 WHIP, -$4 roto in 160 IP


There was a thought floated on Fangraphs that:

(1) Seth Smith was inferior to other, very cheap, outfielders on the market, notably Michael Saunders, so

(2) It was not possible to GIVE Seth Smith to anyone in return for a single baseball, so

(3) The Mariners had to take back a "negative value" player in order to get Smith off the roster.


I thought, okay, I'll buy that, so went over to check Gallardo's salary vs. Smith's ...whooooooops!  This Gallardo dude makes ELEVEN MILLION DOLLARS?  Just to put that little gem of a contract onto some black velvet to show the sparkly ... Wade Miley was at $6.1M last year.  Hisashi Iwakuma was on $11M last year, though, admittedly, he's on $14M this year.

The Mariners (of course) exchanged lengthy math-money spreadsheets while negotiating with the Orioles.  What they came up with is that the Orioles pay Smith's $7.0M this year, and that they share Gallardo's deal:  the O's pay $2M to Gallardo and the Mariners pay $9M to him.

This means that the Mariners extend their budget by $2M -- not your problem, b'wana -- to accomplish two things:

(1) Get themselves one additional slow motion, luxurious pull at the 2017 Speedy Outfielder Deck.  Probably the Ben Gamel pull.

(2) Freeze Rob Whalen and Chris Heston out of the rotation.


So much for powerflushing Gallardo in May after he's gutshot by a random texas ranger wielding a 140 Power Index.  Gallardo is in there, like Wade Miley was in there, but more so.  Rob Whalen interests me, as does Chris Heston.  But since when does Jerry Dipoto simply DFA a player making $9,000,000?  As Bruce Wayne would say, do you know what $9,000,000 looks like in hundred dollar bills?

:- )

But maybe you think that the M's WOULD write Gallardo off, should he pitch like he has in fact pitched.  Do tell.


Dr. D is by nature a bubbly individual.  Granted that Drew Smyly and Yovani Gallardo are at VERY OPPOSITE ENDS of my little "sleeper SP's to poach" roto Post-It-Note.  What is the possible UP scenario here?  What is in Dipoto's mind?

:: taps chin ::

With eyes wide open, I got nothin.

Leaning into the monitor, "find something nice or I shoot this dog" mode ...

:: taps chin ::

His hard-hit ball rate is pretty good the last two years.  "Meaning?"  Meaning his feel for junkballs is ... ah ... present.  Also, he WAS reported to have a bad shoulder last year, although his velocity didn't really change that much.

One thing is, you do not have to go back to 2012 to find a good pitcher.  Gallardo was a 3.75 xERA pitcher all the way through the middle of 2015.  He had a 2.62 ERA in Texas the first half of that year, and it was fairly deserved.  It was late in the 2015 year that the wheels came off, and they stayed off in 2016.

So, if Dipoto has some reason to believe that Gallardo will "bounce back" siiiiigggghhhhh to June of 2015 and the decade previous, then okay.  I have no earthly idea what that reason to believe would be, do you?  Does help that Gallardo's only 31.  It wouldn't be WEIRD for Gallardo to bounce back; in ALL similar cases I'd say that about 1 of 4 of them recover from "weak" to "moderately effective."  Why Dipoto likes Gallardo's chances, dunno, but am hoping there is something.



No, you didn't miss it.  There's nothing much about Smyly.  Just wanted to get in that swipe about "opposite ends of Dr. D's roto board."  Amusing roto symmetry in the back of our rotation.  For all I know, this is THE #1 best bet among SP's under the fantasy radar, and THE #1 worst bet.  I kinda like the bookend effect :- )



Haven't heard from him in a long while?  Is he okay?






The Oriole's did stall for a bit while studying an MRI last year.  Signed the 21st but the delay meant he didn't technically sign until the 25th of Feb.

The biggest difference I see between his good years and bad is in pitch usage.  Specifically in his 4-seam which he threw around 60% in his good years (at 92-93.5) but around 30% in his bad year and a half (90-91.5).  More generally he been using his Change, Sinker and Slider more, 4-seam and Curve less.  The pitch values don't seem much different between the pitches except the 4-seam, which has remained mostly the same throughout.  His usage and effectiveness with every pitch has changed year to year what seems significantly to me.  He didn't have a sinker through 2010,for instance.  His slider has gotten worse and worse as he's used it more and more.  Check his annual BA against by pitch type and the slider bar has gone up and up throughout his career.

I haven't studied these a whole lot, so maybe I'm reading too much into it.  You tell me? 

Edit: Just noticed Jeff Zimmerman mentioned the idea of a move to the Pen: http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/mixing-fantasy-reality-trades-adp-proje...


Some thoughts:

--Gallardo indeed seems to be toast.  Last year's K/BB numbers are truly something to behold (and not in a good way).

--Maybe JD looked around and saw who his rivals are positioning as their #5's::

Astros: Mike Fiers; clearly the stud of the bunch, even with an 800 OPS against last year.  But this requires ALL the recovering injuries in starters above him to disappear.  If not, the job goes to Joe Musgrave, 62 MLB innings

Rangers: A.J. Griffin; 5.00+ ERA last year

Angels: Alex Meyer; 28 MLB innings, 6.75 ERA

A's: Andrew Triggs (who?!); 56 MLB innings

This doesn't make me feel better...but it helps me understand this problem isn't just ours.

--Over the first 80 games we have eight off days; but unfortunately, without an early rainout, it doesn't look like the #5 spot can be skipped very often

--I've thought from the start he was a targeted #5; if it wasn't Smyly, it was going to be Hammel

--The Tacoma rotation is going to be a five man tryout for Gallardo's spot, whenever it opens up.  And I expect Miranda to be part of that group rather than the second lefty, given his lack of a platoon advantage

--At that point do we have an obvious long man?  Hello Yovani!

--Or maybe he finds the magic elixir over the winter, and turns back the clock to opening day 2015.


Competent performance out the #5-6-7 starter slots, it always has a pretty low bar.  I mean, the league has a 100 ERA+ in total; by definition the #3 starters are at 100.

And that could be exactly Dipoto's thinking, I dunno, that if he gets an 84 ERA out of Gallardo, but he does NOT get a panicky performance, then there's a worthwhile stoploss.  ... hope he is NOT thinking that, but he may be.


Can we open a discussion of the bullpen?

I love outfield defense as much as the next guy...but could the pen be our biggest improvement over last year?

Taro's picture

Thats also my concern Doc, will DiPito be willing to dump Gallardo if/when he crashes and burns?

Even as a straight salary dump I don't like it.. tons of downside in the rotation. Pretty everyone in the top 4 needs to be effective and healthy.


Gallardo is not a high upside pitcher and he costs not much less than Chris Sale (yes, I know Sale would cost the entire farm system, that's besides the point).

To be fair, the Orioles are kicking back 2 million bucks, but still.

The Mariners are *notorious* for penny pinching and I just don't see this season being much better than the last 15.
Spend on a few players, then not spend the last 10 dollars to go over the top.

*That* is what gets at me.
Yes, we have more upside, but I just don't see us getting good enough without everyone doing AWESOME.

*Just realized that 2 million is basically his buyout, so it's still 11 million on the books.


"The Mariners are *notorious* for penny pinching and I just don't see this season being much better than the last 15.
Spend on a few players, then not spend the last 10 dollars to go over the top."

Yup. That's been the pattern for the entire history of the franchise, starting with the decision to forgo signing Tino Martinez in the mid-1990's. Spend $100, but not $105, when the last $5 is what takes you from wannabe to reallyare.

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