Adam McCalvy, of MLB.com, reports Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo (knee) has a torn ACL in his right knee and could miss the rest of the season. The team will decide if surgery is necessary when the swelling in his knee goes down. He has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Brewers fans breathed a sigh of relief Thursday, May 1, when Gallardo was able to take the mound after his fifth-inning collision with Chicago Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson. Gallardo appeared to twist his knee in the collision, but he shook it off and made it through six innings. He only gave up three runs in the start, with two of them coming after his injury. However, that relief quickly turned to despair when it was learned the following day Gallardo likely will miss the rest of the season.
The Brewers were looking for Gallardo to give them a boost this year after he performed admirably filling in for oft-injured starter Ben Sheets last season. He made 17 starts (20 appearances) in 2007, posting a 9-5 record with a 3.67 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 8.24 strikeouts per nine innings. Just 22 years old, Gallardo is one of the top up-and-coming starters in the league.
Health-wise, his 2008 season was already off to a rocky start before this setback. He underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee Feb. 19 and didn't make it back until the middle of April. He managed to take the mound three times this year. He did not record any wins, but chalk that up to a lack of run support, as the Brewers scored just two runs while he was on the mound. If his season is over, his stat line will read: no wins, a 1.80 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, 13 K's and six walks in 20 innings.
This injury likely will have a huge impact on fantasy rosters. There is not a lot known regarding Gallardo's status just yet, aside from his placement on DL. A doctor said no further damage could have occurred when he went back out to the mound after he suffered the injury, so this isn't a case of poor handling. If the team does go down the surgical road, Gallardo likely will miss the entire season. If that happens, go ahead and drop him in any non-keeper formats. However, until that does, stash him on a DL spot and hope for the best, at least in deep leagues.
In a corresponding move, the team called up pitcher Dave Bush from Triple-A Nashville. Bush was the odd man out when Gallardo returned to the rotation, though he did get one start in place of Sheets (shoulder) before heading to Nashville. While with Nashville, Bush made one start, giving up three runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks over six innings. He struck out seven batters.
Bush's problems in the majors this season have been related to his mechanics. Manager Ned Yost explained it best when he stated, "It's a mechanical issue, to get where he can consistently reproduce his mechanics so he can command his fastball to fastball hitters in fastball counts. He's making far too many mistakes with it and it's hurting him."
The team did not state how long Bush would remain in the minors, but a call-up didn't appear imminent until Gallardo's injury forced their hand. If the Brewers go with Bush as Gallardo's replacement, they likely expect improvement. He made four starts for them (22 2/3 innings), going 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA, 1.68 WHIP and 16 strikeouts versus 12 walks. Last year it was a struggle for him as well. He posted a career-high 5.12 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. Surprisingly, he has managed to win 12 games each of the past two seasons. However, if you need a fantasy replacement, there are better options to consider.
About Bryce McRae
Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.
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