The Orioles featured one of the worst starting rotations in all of baseball in 2016, piecing together a collective 4.72 ERA on the year. And Yovani Gallardo was arguably the worst starter in a rotation that included the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez and Wade Miley. In 23 starts, the veteran righty posted a 5.42 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and 4.6 percent K-BB%, all career-worst marks. Once an effective innings eater, Gallardo was only able to make it through six innings in 10 of his 23 starts. Gallardo appears in line to fill a back-end spot in the Mariners' rotation following a January trade, but he's been trending in the wrong direction for the past several years and his days as a major league starter are probably winding down.
Gallardo racked up seven strikeouts but gave up three runs over 4.2 innings in a minor league start against the Royals on Wednesday, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Gallardo allowed four hits and a walk overall as he got his work in on his regular pitching schedule. The projected No. 5 starter had a rough outing in the World Baseball Classic for Team Mexico but bounced back in his return to spring action last Friday against the Diamondbacks, giving up two runs over 4.1 innings and 70 pitches.
Gallardo, who returned to Mariners camp on March 15 from playing for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, worked his longest outing of spring in his first start back, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports. The veteran had endured a rocky outing in the WBC, giving up four runs over four innings, but was much steadier against the Diamondbacks on Friday. Gallardo worked 4.1 innings -- his longest stint this spring -- giving up two runs on four hits and three walks. He also recorded a pair of strikeouts and threw 70 pitches overall, 42 of which found the strike zone. The Mariners' projected fifth starter has a 6.48 ERA, 1.56 WHIP and 5:5 K:BB through 8.3 innings across three spring starts.
Gallardo returned to Mariners camp Wednesday and will make his next start Friday against the Diamondbacks, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. The veteran right-hander served up three home runs in his lone start in the World Baseball Classic, ultimately logging four innings and giving up four runs. Gallardo regressed last season with the Orioles after two straight seasons of his ERA hovering around 3.50, and the early spring returns seem to point toward more struggles on the horizon. However, some of the issues last season may be attributed to some shoulder problems, so a clean bill of health heading into this season could signal a turnaround for Gallardo.
Gallardo is scheduled to start Thursday for Team Mexico against Italy in the WBC, MLB.com reports. He will toe the rubber oppose Alessandro Maestri. Gallardo gave up four runs in an inning in his first Cactus League start, but he got back on track with three scoreless frames (and three strikeouts) in his second outing before leaving Mariners camp to join Team Mexico.
Gallardo allowed one hit and struck out three over three scoreless innings in Saturday's game against Colorado. Gallardo was much better during his second spring start than the first one, when he allowed four runs in one inning. He'll now move on to the World Baseball Classic and start Team Mexico's first game Thursday against Italy.