Normally, leaving St. Louis with a split would be cause for some optimism heading into the final week before the All-Star break. Talking to Bill Ivie on the UCB Radio Hour heading into the series, I said I’d be pretty happy with a split, but was only expecting to win one game based on how the pitching match-ups fell.
I wasn’t counting on the Brewers’ season possibly ending early when I said that. Now, a split doesn’t seem so sweet — what’s the point with Yovani Gallardo hurt?
Now, don’t get me wrong, things could be a lot worse. This could’ve been a Sheets-like torn lat, a rotator cuff issue, or anything else that would’ve likely cost Yo the rest of the season. Early reports are saying a strained oblique, which isn’t as serious but still could possibly linger, and that’s a problem with a pitcher.
It helps that this is happening right before the All-Star break. He’ll have this week off, he definitely won’t be pitching in the All-Star game now, and depending on how Ken Macha sets up the rotation post-break, he might not have to pitch again until July 19. As Tom Haudricourt notes, that’d be the equivilent of a 15-day DL stint.
This may end up being a convenient way to clear room in the starting rotation for Doug Davis, but it’s not one the Brewers were planning for. A rotation of Wolf-Bush-Narveson-Parra-Davis is far from a winning combination, and if this is the type of injury that keeps Yo out longer than 15 days, the Brewers need to seriously start thinking about selling off any spare parts at the trade deadline.
We’re already used to the constant Prince Fielder rumors, and we started hearing rumors about some of the team’s relievers a couple days ago. If Yo is out for any extended period of time, the Brewers need to realize that this season is a lost cause (they should’ve realized that already, but that’s a topic for a different post) and try to trade anyone that’s not in their plans for 2011 and beyond.
Jim Edmonds? I’m sure he’d welcome a move to a contender. Craig Counsell? He’s been extremely loyal to the club, but give him another chance to win a ring. Prince Fielder and Corey Hart? Listen to the offers, and take one if someone’s desperate enough to give you what you’re looking for. You could even entertain trading Dave Bush or Doug Davis, and let some younger arms make some starts to close out the year.
The Brewers needed everyone healthy if they were going to go on the ungodly run it would’ve taken to climb back into the playoff race. If Gallardo is going to miss more than a couple starts — and it definitely seems possible — the Brewers would be doing themselves a disservice by not seeing what the players they do plan on keeping around can do.