Yovani Gallardo came to Texas with a few question marks riding on his shoulders: Could he transition to the American League for the first time in his career unlike guys like Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza who have tried to come to Texas in recent years? Could he get by with his new arsenal that relies more on the groundball and less on the strikeout?
Well, so far, so good for the Fort Worth native who returned home this winter via trade to pitch for his hometown team. His Rangers tenure got off to a rocky start on Opening Day, but since then, each start has been better and he was great last week in Seattle to pull out the Rangers' only win of that series.
On Wednesday night, he'll make his fourth start, and he'll do it in a National League park under NL rules, where he'll be able to pitch to pitchers and also, as a bonus, pick up a bat — something he actually excels at.
Gallardo is sporting a 3.45 ERA through his first three starts, which is obviously a small sample, but it's a number lower than he ever posted for a full season in Milwaukee. And surprisingly, he's sporting an 8.6 K/9 innings rate with just shy of one strikeout per inning through three starts, which is nearly two full Ks better than last year in Milwaukee.
It's a small sample, don't forget, but it's encouraging, nonetheless.