Sean Gallagher garnered a lot of attention this past winter after making his Major League debut last season. Gallagher was the name most often mentioned in the trade rumors with Baltimore. Gallagher was named the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2005 and the Cubs’ 5th best prospect according to Baseball America is still in the organization and is performing quite well with the Iowa Cubs.
Birthplace: Boston, MA
Height: 6′ 2″
How Acquired: 12th Round pick by the Cubs in 2004
Sean Gallagher was named the PCL Pitcher of the week on April 28th. Gallagher surrendered only 1 run on 3 hits with 12 strikeouts and a walk in his last start before Monday. However, on the same day he received the honor he had his first bad outing of the year. Gallagher gave up 5 runs on 5 hits with 4 walks and 5 strikeouts in a loss to the Fresno Grizzlies. Even with the ineffective start, Gallagher’s line so far this season looks pretty good.
Sean Gallagher has steadily improved throughout his career. This season is no fluke nor is it an anomaly. He has career numbers of 2.71 ERA with a strikeout to walk ratio of 2.59 to 1. Also, he has averaged over a strikeout per inning and has kept his WHIP at a 1.24 clip. The most important thing might be the fact that he has sustained this level of success over 475 innings.
Coming into this season, Gallagher committed himself to improving his conditioning and reported to Spring Training around 35 pounds lighter. This has enabled him to improve his stamina and repeat his pitching motion. He features a fastball that tops out at 94 MPH, a sharp breaking curve ball as well as a softer version of it, an effective change up, and a slider that is developing but still needs a lot of work. He has great command of his fastball and can spot it wherever he wants. His sharp curve is his second best pitch and he uses it to pad his strikeout totals. I see him developing into an effective third starter and could easily fill Ryan Dempster’s spot in the rotation next year because I’m sure Dempster is going to want an expensive multi-year contract after an effective season as a starter.
Do not let his debut numbers fool you into thinking he cannot compete in the big leagues, those were relief appearances and Gallagher is going to be a starter when he gets called up again. Besides his big league relief appearances, he has only one other career minor league relief appearance and that happened when he was 18 in the Arizona rookie league.
Gallagher should be the Cubs first option if one of the starters goes down for an extended period. Overall, I’m really impressed with his development this season in Iowa and I am curious to see if he can keep it up when and if he gets the call.
Sean Gallagher will be an effective starter for the Cubs when his time comes.