Baltimore Orioles: Yovani Gallardo at Frederick

Yovani Gallardo faces the Potomac National in the first inning of his rehab start for the Frederick Keys. (Author's Photo)
Yovani Gallardo faces the Potomac National in the first inning of his rehab start for the Frederick Keys. (Author's Photo) /
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Reports from inside the Baltimore Orioles and media sources close to the team are reporting that Yovani Gallardo had a good rehab start with the Frederick Keys.

Being at the game and sitting in the first row behind the backstop, I do not understand this positive spin. The velocity was not great at any point, command was poor, and late movement was not seen on a majority of pitches.

The perspective I am sharing here would likely be scoffed at by the folks referenced above (were they to read this, which is unlikely), as this writer would be seen as what they sometimes call “other media types.” Beyond that, it is likely that they would simply see this perspective as more of the “Debbie Downer” pessimism of so many fans who overreact critically to anything and everything that goes wrong.

To the former criticism, I’m not sure what I could present to gain their respect as a credentialed baseball analyst. Oh well. And to the latter, I’ve more often been accused over the years of writing as too much of a fan and not enough of an objective analyst. I plead guilty to both. I want to see all Orioles players excel, and I have nothing against Gallardo; yet I think I have decades of watching and playing this sport that gives me a legit eye for what is or is not happening.

The line being used about this rehab outing is that the Frederick defense was porous and that the three innings with three runs on seven hits and two walks is just not as bad as it seems on paper. Further, it is being said that balls just found holes.

I’m sorry. They found holes because they were hit hard. And though the defense could have been better and is not to be confused with what is on the field in Baltimore, it would not have changed the nature of this pitching effort. It simply was not very good.

Failing to hold Potomac’s leadoff hitter Andrew Stevenson (who singled in each of the first two innings), the center fielder twice swiped second base. Frederick catcher Jonah Heim on both occasions made great throws to almost salvage the outs. This contributed to running up the pitch count.

Gallardo got in his work of 59 pitches, though in three innings instead of the hoped-for number of four frames. He’ll need to pitch at least once more before a possible call-up, and maybe several more occasions. Perhaps he’ll make tweaks and rapid improvements; that is possible and is something he has done before.

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But again, on this particular night, most every other pitcher in the game looked sharper. A last inning three-run homer by the Keys’ leadoff hitter Jay Gonzalez (the first of his professional career) got Gallardo off the hook for the loss, not that this matters significantly. And Frederick then lost the game in the first extra inning (the 8th inning of the first of a scheduled doubleheader).

This does not look like anything that can help the Orioles and the pitching rotation anytime soon. I want to be wrong. Don’t shoot the reporter. I’m just writing what my eyes saw.