Thursday, March 19, 2009
30 A's in 30 Days – Sean Gallagher
Acquired: Traded from Chicago (NL) as part of package for Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin (July 8, 2008).
Contract: One year thru 2009. Eligible for arbitration after 2010.
Position: #3 or #4 starting pitcher
Projected ERA: 4.43
Over/Under: At the time the A's acquired Gallagher, I was…less than enthusiastic. His work in the green and gold didn't impress me, either, as he won just two of his 11 starts in Oakland. Gallagher's minor league numbers (38-17 W-L record in 88 starts; 482 Ks in 481 innings and a 2.77 ERA) are positively eye-popping, though, and he'll only be 23 years old entering this season. I'd love to be wrong, but I'm just not convinced he's ready to turn the corner in the big leagues yet. OVER.
By the Numbers: 1, 3 – Baseball Prospectus lists Jeff Russell and Jim Gott as Gallagher's first and third-strongest comps. Both broke into the bigs while in their early 20s, both had several uneven seasons as starting pitchers and both enjoyed long careers when eventually moved to the bullpen. With a bushel of fresh young arms in their farm system, 2009 might be Gallagher's last chance to establish himself as a starter in Oakland.
Surefire '09 Prediction: Gallagher will remind longtime A's fans of a young Jose Rijo, who mixed the occasionally dominant start with maddening stretches of ineffectiveness from 1985-1987. Speaking of which, whatever happened to Jose Rijo? I never heard from him again after Oakland traded him to Cincinnati. And, I certainly didn't hear from him in the 1990 World Series. Not a peep.