After all the “Will They or Won’t They?” Hot Stove drama several weeks ago surrounding one Yo (Cespedes), the Baltimore Orioles signed a different Yo (Gallardo) this week.
The Orioles reached a three-year, $35 million agreement with free-agent starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo on Saturday.
There has been and will continue to be some interesting analysis of the Orioles’ dealings with Gallardo and what it means for the team’s prospects. For now, here are some biographical odds and ends about the O’s newest pitcher.
In 2007, Gallardo became the 100th player born in Mexico to appear in the major leagues. (Baseball Reference actually has him as the 101st.) New teammate Miguel Gonzalez debuted five years later and was baseball’s 114th Mexican-born player. Seventy-three of the players from Mexico have been pitchers.
Move Over Jeff Reboulet
Gallardo is a decent hitter who holds a batting distinction that would make former Oriole Jeff Reboulet proud.
Gallardo stroked an RBI double in his first major league at-bat on June 18, 2007. Then, in 2009, he became the first pitcher to homer off of Randy Johnson. Gallardo’s three-run homer helped the Brewers to a 4-2 victory in Johnson’s San Francisco Giants debut.
Gallardo has 12 career home runs off the likes of Johnson, Edison Volquez, Wandy Rodriguez, Mat Latos, and Matt Cain.
The Dylan Bundy Treatment
Gallardo was a high school star in Texas who, like Dylan Bundy, wasn’t afraid to toss some innings. In 2010, Bundy threw 181 pitches for Owasso High School in Oklahoma during the course of a doubleheader. In 2004, Gallardo recorded 25 strikeouts in 11 innings of work for Trimble Tech in Texas.
Contrary to the legend, however, Gallardo did not follow up outings for his high school or travel teams by pitching in his dad’s adult baseball league.
Deep in the Heart
Gallardo might not be so happy to be leaving Texas. Here’s what he had to say following his trade to the Rangers last season.
“I achieved the one thing my mom wanted me to achieve, and that was to play for the Rangers,” said Gallardo, whose mother died in 2012. “I have uncles telling me they still can’t believe it. You can’t believe it? Well, I can’t believe it. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
“All I can do is go out there and perform. Growing up, one of the goals I had was to play here, and not just play here but play here for a long time. I’m going to do everything I have to do to hopefully achieve that.”
Opening Day Chops
Hello, Again, Ubaldo
You Used to Call Me
Let’s take a moment to remember the Drake Curse, a phenomenon that saw its most powerful year in 2014 — the Heat, the Raptors, the Wildcats. His dastardly influence can even cross oceans: After Drake endorsed English soccer player Daniel Sturridge, England’s national team was booted from the World Cup during the group stage. (And it’s not just because they already have bad luck.) Drake’s curse has a passport, and it’s got work visas in every country. No coy smile or unanimously endorsed album will guarantee the forgiveness that Drake must seek now.