Ten days, eight runs, and a meaty 30.86 ERA - that’s how the Cincinnati Reds chapter of Yovani Gallardo’s baseball career will read into perpetuity, as the club designated the veteran righty for assignment on Tuesday afternoon. The Reds also announced that they’ve used the roster spot formerly occupied by Gallardo to promote reliever Tanner Rainey, who had struck out five of the six batters he’d face to start the season with AAA Louisville.
The abrupt page-turn here is significantly more exciting than the actual move, since Gallardo was always obviously the 25th man on the 25 man roster. The signing was odd, the guaranteed big league salary was even stranger, and the decision to thrust him immediately into action was one of the more head-scratching moves I’ve witnessed in decades of watching the Reds do business. Personally, I’d love to have been a fly on the wall over the last two weeks and have listened to the entire life cycle of bringing Gallardo in, signing him, using him immediately, and cutting bait, as those kinds of moves don’t seem to happen too often.
It’s admirable, in many ways, since it was pretty damn clear that Gallardo’s ability to get hitters out no longer exists in any similar way to how it did, oh, a decade ago, and the Reds do deserve a bit of credit for calling time on what was a very, very bad idea.
In Rainey, the bullpen gets a fireballer, albeit one who has struggled to find the strike zone at times. The 2015 second round draftee can hit 100 mph with his fastball and owns an 11.9 K/9 in his career in the minors, but the 5.1 BB/9 he’s carried over that time is a bit concerning, too - especially given the propensity for walks from the rest of his bullpen mates. Still, he’s infinitely more exciting and capable than Gallardo at the moment, and will certainly add talent to the otherwise beleaguered unit.