Exit Interview 2020: Giovanny Gallegos

After every season (dating back to 2012), we’ve spent time looking at every player that got into a game for the St. Louis Cardinals that season.  They might have gotten a couple of innings, they might have played every day, but if they played, they get a post.  Usually, I like to term this like the players are packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter.  This year, of course, was anything but typical.  So we’ll look at every player, we’ll take in some of their stats, but we won’t be giving out grades this season or delving too much into the positive/negative.  There are just too many variables in the Year of COVID for that to be reasonable.  As he has for the past few years, cardinalsgifs has lent his enormous talents to our header image and we thank him for it!

Player: Giovanny Gallegos

Season stats: 2-2, 4 SV, 3.60 ERA, 16 G, 15 IP, 9 H, 1 HR, 4 BB, 21 K, 2.06 FIP, 0.867 WHIP, 12.6 K/9, 0.1 bWAR

Postseason stats: 1-0, 9.00 ERA, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 2.000 WHIP

Statcast: 9.4% barrel %, 92.2 exit velocity, 40.6% hard hit %, .280 xwOBA

Best Statcast category: xwOBA (97th percentile)

Worst Statcast category: Barrel Percentage (45th percentile)

Hero/Goat: Hero 1


Overview: On September 10, in the second game of the doubleheader, Giovanny Gallegos came in to lock down a save and just didn’t have it on that day.  He recorded no outs, allowed three runs on two hits and a walk, and took the loss.  Coupled with the fact that he had given up his only home run of the year in the outing before and gave up a run on two hits and a walk in the outing after, it seemed like things might be catching up to Gallegos.

A rough spell like that during most years would have easily been papered over with many more good outings.  Obviously, 2020 didn’t allow for that.  But without those three outings, Gallegos gave up one run in 13 innings.  Even if you just take out the Detroit outing, his ERA drops to 1.80 for the season.  Mike Shildt started to go to Alex Reyes for late innings after Gallegos stubbed his toe, but Giovanny finished the season with three scoreless innings against the Brewers and seemed to be righting his ship.  Which made his blowup in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series pretty shocking.  Giving up two homers in less than an inning after only one all season?  That wasn’t expected in the least.

Gallegos’s season got off to a slow start as he was a trendsetter and caught the COVID before baseball’s return in July, necessitating him starting the season on the IL when he couldn’t get into summer camp on time.  While the baseline numbers might not be as great, the 21/4 K/BB ratio and the fact that he was still striking out well over 10 per nine innings indicates there’s nothing wrong with Gallegos overall.

Outlook: Gallegos isn’t arbitration eligible until after next season, so he’ll be back in the late innings and coming into the tough situations for the Cardinals again in 2021.  Yes, Luke Voit is mashing homers for the Yankees, but given how much of his production comes in his home ballpark, I don’t think you could expect him to have done that in St. Louis even if the Cardinals passed on Paul Goldschmidt.  They got a productive piece for him, one of the big keys to the bullpen.  That’ll do nicely.

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