Luke Voit has taken off with the Yankees, and it seems like it has been a terrible deal for the St. Louis Cardinals. With Giovanny Gallegos going on a tear in the bullpen, maybe it isn’t as bad as it seems.
As you probably know, during last years Trade Deadline; the St. Louis Cardinals dealt minor leaguer Luke Voit in exchange for two players including Chasen Shreve; who was working on a mediocre season as a reliever for the Yankees.
Luke Voit played a few games with the Yankees Triple-A affiliate, then got called up, to take injury-prone first baseman’s Greg Bird’s spot on the roster. Voit got to business quickly and played a huge role in helping the Yankees secure a Wild Card spot, hitting .333 with a 1.095 OPS, and also mashing 14 home runs. He became yet another big bat in a Yankee lineup that was already full of sluggers.
On the other hand, Chasen Shreve wasn’t all that good with St. Louis. He did have a 3.07 ERA, but also had a putrid 5.48 FIP to go with a 1.568 WHIP; which is horrible especially for a relief pitcher.
It made Cardinals fans wonder why John Mozeliak would make such a dumb deal. It made sense to get rid of Voit though. He was blocked by Matt Carpenter; who was tearing the cover off of the baseball at the time, and the Cardinals had another solid first baseman in Jose Martinez at the time.
With the Cardinals desperately looking for another left-handed bullpen arm after designating Tyler Lyons for assignment, they decided to dangle their blocked first-baseman in exchange for Shreve.
Towards the end of Spring Training, the Cardinals designated Chasen Shreve for assignment, and all that did was make the Luke Voit deal seem like a complete disaster. Then to make things worse, Luke Voit started the 2019 season on an absolute tear, slashing .275/.392/.523 with eight home runs to start the season. It seemed like this deal could go down as one of those trades that other fanbases sit back and laugh at.
There was another player in the Luke Voit deal though. His name was Giovanny Gallegos, he was just another reliever in the Yankees stacked Minor League system, so the Yankees didn’t have much of a fit throwing him in with Chasen Shreve to acquire Voit. At the time of the trade, he had pretty solid stats in Triple-A for the Yankees, with a 2.64 ERA, and striking out 57 batters in 44 innings.
Today is his 28th birthday, so we wanted to recognize him for how good he has been this year. Gallegos went unnoticed among many Cardinals fans when the trade happened; but this year, he has been an anchor in the Cardinals bullpen and has been the best reliever on the team.
After a rough Spring Training from Gallegos, the Cardinals sent him down to Triple-A Memphis; but that didn’t last long as he got recalled about a week into the season. He stayed up in the Majors for the time being, and was a decent arm in the Cardinals bullpen, sporting a 3.91 ERA with a 0.91 WHIP up until June.
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When June came around, Gallegos turned into the Cardinals relief ace and added yet another arm to a very solid Cardinals bullpen. He started to show flashes of stardom, putting up an insane 0.61 WHIP as well as striking out 18 hitters in 14 innings. He was showing off filthy stuff to go with a 96 mph fastball; a recipe that fooled hitters with ease.
In July, Gallegos showed that June wasn’t a fluke; putting up yet another ridiculous month, possessing a 0.69 ERA with an insane 0.46 WHIP on the month. He even struck out 18 over 13 innings.
Other teams are starting to take notice of Gallegos as well. He has a 1.8 WAR, which is ranked 4th among relievers in the National League. That’s higher than most NL All-Star relievers, including reigning NL Reliever of the Year winner Josh Hader. Another crazy stat? Luke Voit also has a 1.8 WAR on the season, so they have been bringing the same value to their respective teams so far this season.
I’d hate to see what this bullpen would be like without Gallegos, he has helped both Cardinals starters and relievers get out of crazy jams, including when Gallegos got out of a bases-loaded no outs jam to bail out Jack Flaherty against the division rival Cincinnati Reds.
Sure, you can still say the Yankees won the Voit deal, Voit has been a great player so far with New York; hitting .278 with 19 home runs during 2019. You can’t say that the Cardinals got fleeced though anymore. So let’s hope that Gallegos can keep owning hitters and contribute to an NL Central title. Happy Birthday!