So, really, there's not much correllation, unless you're me. And perhaps some of you other Brewers fans.
I'm having a hard time dealing with the fact that we're going with Yovani Gallardo as our ace for 2009. His high IP was 187.5 in 2007 between AAA and the MLB level. Prior to that, his high was 155 in the minors. Now we are going to rely on this guy to start 30+ games and pitch greater than 200 innings two years removed from his career high. I know this guy is going to be a fantastic pitcher, and I really hope it happens this season. But I'm just concerned about his ability to pitch a career high in innings without hitting a wall this season, a la Manny Parra 2008.
But what are the options? In all honesty, its not looking that great. Here's what we know the Brewers are looking at:
41, coming off of shoulder surgery, has a history of injuries. That said, he's only ever posted an ERA+ below 100 in his first season in the league. A big question mark about his durability and whether he can be counted on as a member of the rotation. The upside is that when he's healthy, he pitches very well. Sort of like an older, more broken down Ben Sheets.
45, coming off an alright year in which he won 11 games. He's looking to win 5 more games to get to 300. He's not the man he was 10 years ago, but he is probably a safe bet to win 10 games.
32, and without the stuff that Johnson or Smoltz has. He's a lefty and he's younger, so he's got that going for him. He's rather pedestrian at a career 101 ERA+
Here's a fangraphs comparison of the three.
What's out there?
Young, and only a year removed from pitching very well. But coming off a shoulder injury that is sort of a mystery. Could be major, maybe not. A one year deal would be ideal, but I'm sure he'll be looking for more, and is probably going to come at a higher price than anyone would like.
An 'innings eater', he's Jeff Suppan, but a little better. His ability to pitch a decent amount of innings will be what gets him a 3 year deal. But, really, does anyone want two Suppans?
Will be too expensive for the Brewers, due to the fact that Scott Boras is his agent. Craig Brown at The Hardball Times has a great article up about him. Which summarizes why I am not a fan in a much more logical and reasoned manner than I am capable of.
Is not good. I will donate to firedougmelvin.com if he signs this guy. 90 ERA+ career, 1.549 WHIP. Stay away.
That's going to be the end of my list, as I really think the other available pitching isn't even going to be considered, whether due to price or due to poor quality. The likes of Daniel Cabrera are included above, as I've seen his name linked to the Brewers.
In the end? I see the Brewers possibly ending up with Jon Garland, if they can get him on the cheap. I'm not a fan of it, but it seems like a move that 'stache will make. The other option that I could see is John Smoltz on a 1 year high incentive deal. I like the risk vs. reward on this one, if we can get him a for around $3MM to start with another...say...$3-$4MM in incentives based on IP and GS.
What do you all think?