Milwaukee Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo missed his Sunday start against the Chicago Cubs with a strained groin he suffered last week. The Mexico native debated whether he should suit up for his country’s team, but ultimately decided he would play. In my opinion, Gallardo should skip the World Baseball Classic altogether.
The Brewers simply cannot afford to lose the best pitcher on their team in a season that has seen a lot of their pitching leave town. Milwaukee will have one of the most inexperienced starting rotations in all of Major League Baseball in 2013. Marco Estrada, Michael Fiers, Mark Rogers and top prospect Wily Peralta all have less than a year of big league experience as a starter.
This does not mean each player cannot dominate this season, but it does mean that if Gallardo goes down there will be no one leading the charge. These pitchers look up to Gallardo for advice and need him to take some of the pressure off of their own game. Every rotation needs a proven veteran and Gallardo is certainly that for the Brewers.
It is understandable why Team Mexico desperately wanted the 27-year-old to pitch. He is their top starter and the team’s chances in the international tournament would take a huge hit without him. There is also no reason to blame Gallardo for wanting to play as it is clear why anyone would want to honor their country in a respectable way such as this.
At this point, Milwaukee has no choice but to watch with a cautious eye when Gallardo takes the mound. The good news is that the Brewers would not allow the six-year veteran to pitch unless they were positive the groin injury would not be a factor. Obviously, there is no way to know for sure, but Milwaukee’s pitching coach Rick Kranitz giving the go-ahead should be reassuring for everyone emotionally involved with the organization.