Anyone who's spent any time watching Yovani Gallardo pitching so far this season has probably gotten the inkling that something just isn't right. Now there's even more reason to believe it, because Gallardo pitched only two innings before being lifted from the game.
Gallardo's mid-80s arsenal was getting ambushed early on - the O's were losing 2-0 after two pitches. That's not what you want to see, to say the least.
About his problem, Gallardo himself said on MASN, "My shoulder just didn't feel right. I've never had issues in my career. ... I wasn't able to get the release point. Hopefully it was nothing serious." He added that the problem cropped up when he was warming up in the bullpen tonight.
What comes next? Showalter also said that Gallardo will be heading back to Baltimore to get some tests on the shoulder. Remember, this is the same shoulder that caused the O's to back out of the initial three-year contract they had with Gallardo.
The crowd of media bashing the O's physical exam will surely not say they were wrong - but if Gallardo hits the DL with a shoulder problem, it's clear that crowd would have been wrong.
It's not yet known whether Gallardo will hit the disabled list as a result of this. Maybe it will turn out things are as fine as they can be. The O's do have a roster move to make on Saturday, as they're planning to activate reliever Brian Matusz.
"We'll see whether it's Gallardo or not," said Showalter. Given the typical tendency to not divulge how serious things are right away, it's telling to me that Showalter brought up Gallardo's name as a possibility at all in connection with the coming roster moves.
Otherwise, it would have been a no-brainer to option T.J. McFarland, who pitched five innings in relief tonight. That may yet still be what happens, as the team may not have a definitive answer about Gallardo in time for the Matusz move. Of course, another roster move awaits when they activate Kevin Gausman to start on Monday's game, so it could end up being Gallardo onto the disabled list there.
If Gallardo does end up hitting the DL, that would spell an end of his streak of seven straight seasons making 30 or more starts, which seemed to be the prime rationale for signing him. Not every signing is going to work out, but, with the physical issues popping up and resulting in a lesser contract, it sure seems like they were aware of the red flags. Maybe they should have paid more attention to those.