St. Louis Cardinals: Giovanny Gallegos is coming back to earth

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CINCINNATI, OHIO - AUGUST 16: Giovanny Gallegos #65 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws a pitch in the 9th inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 16, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - AUGUST 16: Giovanny Gallegos #65 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws a pitch in the 9th inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 16, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Fans have sung praises of St. Louis Cardinals reliever Giovanny Gallegos’ dominance throughout the season, but he finally appears to be showing some cracks.

St. Louis Cardinals fans know the story by now: First baseman Luke Voit was traded to the New York Yankees for reliever Chasen Shreve and a little-known relief pitcher named Giovanny Gallegos. Voit has done quite well for the Yankees, and Shreve flopped with the Cardinals, but Gallegos shattered even the loftiest expectations any fan likely had for him.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Gallegos has hit his first real rough patch of the season. Until Aug. 27, Gallegos had an ERA of 1.95 and an opponent batting average of .155 on the season. But he has been shaky since then.

In four appearances since Aug. 27, Gallegos has allowed five hits and three earned runs in 3.1 innings, including two home runs in a two-game span after allowing just five on the season before that. His ERA has risen to a still-respectable 2.27, but this stretch could have some fans concerned.

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If we take a deeper look at Gallegos’ stats, his Fielding Independent Pitching is 2.76, and he has a strand rate around 90%. A higher FIP than ERA usually means the pitcher has had some good luck, as does a high strand rate. This isn’t to discount Gallegos’ skill, however; even with those stats that point to some luck, he has still struck out 84 batters in 63.1 innings and continues to limit his walks.

Gallegos also ranks among the best pitchers in the league in categories such as spin rate and Weighted On-Base Average, so his peripherals don’t appear to be a complete illusion, and he could still be a dominant pitcher and even be closer in time.

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Gallegos likely won’t reach what he did prior to this point, as some of his luck has caught up to him, but he should continue to be a solidly above-average pitcher for the foreseeable future.

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