Sunday, June 24, 2007

Expect Yovani Gallardo to Join Brewers Rotation

Given the Brewers tendencies to favor up-and-coming players over those more established, it's hard to imagine manager Ned Yost keeping both Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan in the rotation at the expense of top prospect Yovani Gallardo. One or the other has got to go.

Expect Gallardo to advance from the bullpen soon after starter Chris Capuano returns from injury, as Bush and Suppan are struggling to keep their ERAs under 5.00.

Gallardo, 21, who has compared favorably with Cincinnati's Homer Bailey and other top minor league hurlers, made an indelible impression when he struck out 188 batters in 155 innings with a 1.86 ERA in two minor league stops last year.

Gallardo (pronounced Guy-yar-doh) throws consistently in the low 90s and can top 95-96 mph when needed, and keeps batters guessing with biting curves and changeups he throws anywhere in the count.

Yost has shown little hesitancy to play such eager younger players ahead of established veterans like Jeff Jenkins, Kevin Mench and Brady Clark to name a few, nor to throw rookies into the heart of the fray, as with young third baseman Ryan Braun moving immediately into the No. 3 hole in the batting order as soon as he was brought up.

Despite Gallardo's youth,, expect more of the same as soon as an opportunity arises, which will be soon.