After watching 5 Yovanni Gallardo starts in this young season we can ask the question: What is his ceiling this year assuming he stays healthy?
He's averaging almost 7 innings per start so far. A strikeout per inning. His ERA is under 3 (only Looper has a better ERA for starters but Gallardo has an extra start in). He has allowed only 2 earned runs his last 23 innings.
And oh...with the stick he's got as many total bases (10) as Jason Kendall in 43 fewer at bats.
The list of accolades for the guy keep on growing. It's clear the team's push back over .500 has been the offense (and particularly Braun) heating up, but the starting pitching has been "solid" the whole time too with Gallardo leading the way. Can we expect this type of pitching from him the rest of the season? If he gets 34 starts and wins 3 out of every 5 games that equals a 20 game winner. Can he actually throw 230+ innings after basically being shut down last year?
Only time will tell if his hot start will continue over the course of the whole season. Right now though...there is no denying his "ace" status. He's the type of guy that can carry a team. We'll need him this year on days like today to be fearless when we need a sweep...or in the dog days of August during a losing streak when we need him to be a stopper.
In the offseason all you heard about were questions about the Brewers starting pitching. Well...there's no question about Gallardo. As long as Bush and Looper keep "doing what they're doing" and Parra and Suppan improve (Parra has to right?) the Brewers are a contending team.