Brewers pitchers are nine strikeouts away from topping the 2003 Cubs for the most in major league history with 1,404. It’s apparently not something worth striving for, however. They’ve opted to scratch Yovani Gallardo from his scheduled start Wednesday against the Padres.
There’s nothing wrong with Gallardo, the team’s lone 200-strikeout guy. All indications are that the Brewers just figure he’s pitched enough this year and there’s no sense running him out there with nothing to play for.
Gallardo has made 33 starts and thrown 204 innings this year. He threw 207 1/3 innings in the regular season last year and 19 more in the playoffs, so it’s not as though he’d be setting any new precedents by making another start.
With Gallardo out of the mix, the Brewers are expected to go with a bullpen day and use several relievers to get through the finale against San Diego. Perhaps they’ll get the nine strikeouts anyway. They’ve averaged 8.67 strikeouts per game this season.
Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.
Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.
Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.
Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.