Gallegos Proving His Versatility

Gallegos has a 0.00 ERA out of the bullpen

CHARLESTON, SC - Right-handed pitcher Giovanny Gallegos is becoming a versatile weapon for the Riverdogs, with several outings pitching both as a starter and as a reliever, and having success in both roles.

His season in Staten Island last year was solid but unspectacular and filled with some inconsistencies, and it left him knowing he needed to make some adjustments heading into this season.

"[In Spring Training] I was working on my mechanics, my delivery, trying to get the ball down," Gallegos said through the help of a translator. "I was also working on my curveball. My mechanics are working well for me [so far]. They've gotten better and I'm starting to throw the ball a lot better.

"With my arm, I'm trying not to open my front side, to stay closed as long as possible to make sure the release point is there. [I'll keep working on] my mechanics and delivery. That's what's been getting me success in my pitching so far."

He has opened up the season posting a 2.97 ERA for Charleston thus far, allowing a lower opposing batting average and striking out batters at a higher rate than last year.

Pitching coach Carlos Chantres had the opportunity to work with Gallegos in Staten Island and through Extended Spring Training camp last year.

"He's more aggressive, more consistent with his pitches [than last year], he's down in the zone better," Chantres said. "Last year he would always have like one or two bad innings, and the rest were good. This year it's been less.

"All three [pitches] have been really good. Obviously it's not where we want it to be, but it's improved. His delivery, his front side, finishing, getting the ball down. Every now and then he'll try to get a little extra velocity and he'll open up.

"I think [his strongest pitch] is his fastball, but when he's able to throw the other two for strikes in this league, it's a big difference. He can get up to 95 [mph on his fastball], but he's consistent at 90 or 91."

With his power and improved consistency, Gallegos has been able to both start and relieve for the Riverdogs this season. Manager Luis Dorante is excited about Gallegos' prospect as a relief pitcher.

"In the season I think from starter to reliever, I think he more suits the reliever role than the starter role, for me in my opinion," Dorante said. "He's not worried so much about [starting, having] to go five or six innings and close to a hundred pitches, compared to a reliever [who will] probably go three innings and give everything [he has] that day.

"I see more velocity, better secondary stuff; the curveball and the changeup. I see more curveballs thrown for strike early in the count than I saw when he started. I see that change in him; he seems like more relaxed, like okay ‘I'm here just to throw two or three innings, maximum four, but I'm just going to stay calm and use all my pitches for strikes'.

"I think his fastball [is his strongest pitch]. His curveball is a plus pitch, and like I said he uses it for a strike and that's something that he needs to early in the count so he doesn't sit in fastball," he added.

Gallegos himself prefers the starting position, but will do whatever it takes to help the team out and make it to the next level.

"I like starting better right now, but if I have the opportunity as a [relief pitcher], I'll take it. The only difference is I have to work harder to prepare.

"But [I'll do] whatever it takes to get to the next level. [I want] to try to have a good season, more than anything with good health and good results."

Whatever role he is pitching in, Dorante stressed the importance of Gallegos' consistency.

"Consistency in throwing strikes and keeping the ball down, that's the most important thing for him, and he's been working on it," Dorante said. "It's been paying off. That will be the ticket for him to move up to Tampa and hopefully Double-A.

"If he continues to do that consistently, and be able to throw three, four, five innings as a reliever, you got a long reliever or starter if they need him. So there's a lot of versatility there where you can use them as a reliever and a starter."

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