DR'S DIAGNOSIS ON CHRISTIAN BERGMAN
Scott Servais appeared to be undecided about his rotation guillotine, come high noon on Felix Friday. Reading between the lines, the Mainframe sees Servais as genuinely hesitant. If so, that would be a clear surprise to Dr. D who regarded Bergman the automatic victim.
How did Bergman throw on Sunday? Nowhere near as well as his [In-Texas 6 IP*, 4 H, 2 ER] line would lead you to believe. That's not to knock Bergman, who competes hard, and who has shown that he can trick major league lineups to a certain extent. He can keep you in a game, within reason.
But Sunday he lacked his quasi-Fister command and needed to go to a change speed game. Which would be fine except the Rangers had 7-8 very hard hit balls and 1 strikeout. The game might have turned out to be a Quality Start, but it could just as easily have been a 5 IP, 6 ER game. Bergman is tough when he has his best command, and tough when he's got the feel on his overhand curve, but that's not an every-night thing. It's not even an every-other-night thing.
Dr's Diagnosis is now in; we've seen enough, on good days and bad days. Christian Bergman rates as a valuable #7 starter. He's been a good soldier.
MOE DOG SLAPS A CEASE-AND-DESIST ON HWMNBN
Yovani Gallardo's first three starts of the season looked like this (Innings/H/ER) 5/8/2, 5/7/4, 6/9/4. Many of us were pretty leery of him then. His last 6 starts have been 3.2/9/9, 5.1/7/3, 3/6/5, 7/6/5, 6/7/3, 5/6/5.
... Yovani is 3 and 7, the team 5 and 9 in his 14 starts. (for comparison, we're 3 and 4 in Bergmann starts. In 2 of those losses he was perfectly atrocious, in 1 he threw 5 innings, giving up 4 hits and 1 ER). We're a .500 team, minus Gallardo's outings.
... As I've said many times, he was always going to get lapped by a young arm (Moore) this season. Well, Ta-Dah! It has happened.
If 88 wins is still the target for a likely WC spot, then we have to go 55-37 the rest of the way. We have 37 losses right now, so we've used up 50% of our season's allotment in 43% of the season. 55-37 is a 60% clip.
With or without Felix, 60% is smoking! (= a 96 win team - Dr D)
I'm pretty unwilling to watch 14 more Gallardo starts, because I'm not real confident we go 7-7 in those games. Super Two has to have come and gone. Regardless, it is time. Make it so.
1) It is 100% true that Gallardo is throwing the ball way, way better than he has since ASB 2015. It is also true that his "one bad inning" -- such as Saturday -- occurs because he makes very dangerous mistakes in every game he pitches. OK, I walked two guys again, and then I missed with a 85 MPH foshball middle-middle again, and it went 440 feet again. But I did some good things later. BAH HUMBUG.
2) Gallardo's K/BB is a woeful 1.7, his ERA is 6.30, and even his FIP is almost five. Let me ask you a question: if Yovani Gallardo's dreams come true the second half, what would you be missing anyway?! In the best case scenario he evolves to "mediocre innings eater." You are going to freeze out Ariel Miranda for that?!
3) Politically, from a F-500 standpoint, I would think that Dipoto could now shed Yovani Gallardo without much harm to his rep. You can sell the idea as a critical first-half innings sponge before you got your rotation together. There will be other GM's who like Gallardo's stuff enough to pick up a couple million of his remaining salary.
Felix is back Friday, Iwakuma maybe the next week, leaving Paxton-Miranda-Felix-WBC-Gaviglio and you've got Smyly-Moore in the wings. If the M's hold up the Gallardo decision past Iwakuma's return, we presume it would be only because they've got a couple of buyers on the line.
Dissimilar to HWMNBN's 3-7 win loss record is Iwakuma's at 63-39. This is a virtuoso of the art who will figure it out. If it CAN be figured out, that is. If 'Kuma is done, then he's done. But if he's not he will get in rhythm, and quickly.
He's done a whale of a lot for the franchise and when he's healthy, he's in there. Call it 70-30 that he's got some miles left in him?
This is the kid who would be long-manned if the M's need to showcase (???) Gallardo's 6.30 ERA another start or two.
Gaviglio's BB rate, 2.1, puts him nearly in that Fister-Radke-Tewksbury class and his 6.3 K rate is plenty in that context. True, his SwStr% is 6.5% but it says here that has room for growth. When Gaviglio is throwing dimes, he throws them with both his fastball and power curve, and expands the strike zone. That approach can sustain K's.
In tonight's game, check the first inning to see whether Gaviglio gets called strikes with paintballs - both fastball and slider. If so, he is probably on his A game and could get a lockdown. If not, expect him to use his downward bite, and groundball ratio, to battle anyway.
Watch for those Ultra Felix edge-nipping sequences :- )