SEAN GALLAGHER
RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
Born: December 30, 1985
Height: 6′ 2″
Weight: 235
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 12th Round, 366th overall, 2004
How Acquired: Trade (for Cash)
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

The Pirates acquired Gallagher from San Diego for cash when the Padres designated him for assignment.  Gallagher climbed the prospect charts quickly after the Cubs signed him out of high school.  He was the key trade piece when the Cubs acquired Rich Harden from Oakland.  In the minors, his fastball ranged from 90-94, with a curve that was at times his best pitch, and a change.  In the majors he’s maintained velocity, but has increasingly thrown a slider. He’s an extreme flyball pitcher; his groundball % in the majors is a very low 37.8%.  Previously, he’d been slightly more effective against left-handed than right-handed hitters, but he had a huge reverse platoon split in 2010.

2004
R:  1-2-0, 3.12 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 34.2 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 11.4 K/9 

Gallagher’s numbers in his rookie ball debut were very good except that he gave up a lot of hits.

2005
A:  14-5-0, 2.71 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 146 IP, 3.4 BB/9, 8.6 K/9
A+:  0-0-0, 1.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 5 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 12.6 K/9 

Had a very strong season in low A, with good walk and K numbers.

2006
A+:  4-0-0, 2.30 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 78.1 IP, 2.4 BB/9, 11.2 K/9
AA:  7-5-0, 2.71 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 86.1 IP, 5.7 BB/9, 9.5 K/9 

Split the year between high A and AA.  Gallagher pitched very well at the lower level, with excellent walk and K rates.  Control problems surfaced in AA, though, and led to a high WHIP despite the good ERA.  Baseball America rated him the Cubs’ 5th best prospect prior to both the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

2007
AA:  7-2-0, 3.39 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 61 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 8.0 K/9
AAA:  3-1-0, 2.66 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 40.2 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 8,2 K/9
MLB:  0-0-1, 8.59 ERA, 2.11 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 7.4 BB/9, 3.1 K/9 

Gallagher pitched well for another 11 starts in AA, then moved up to AAA and pitched even better in eight starts.  He allowed only four HRs in 101.2 IP in the minors.  The Cubs called him up for several brief stints throughout the season and he had a rough time in a total of eight relief appearances.

2008
AAA (ChiC):  2-2-0, 3.10 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 29 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 9.3 K/9
MLB (ChiC):  3-4-0, 4.45 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 58.2 IP, 3.4 BB/9, 7.5 K/9
MLB (Oak):  2-3-0, 5.88 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, 66.2 IP, 5.7 BB/9, 8.6 K/9 

Gallagher began the season with five strong starts in AAA, allowing just a .196 opponents’ average.  The Cubs called him up in May and put him in the rotation, and he pitched respectably in ten starts.  After he went to Oakland in the Rich Hardin trade, though, his control deserted him, although he still had a good K rate.

2009
AAA (Oak):  1-0-0, 1.74 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 20.2 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 6.5 K/9
AAA (SD):  0-1-0, 27.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 1 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9
MLB (Oak):  1-2-0, 8.16 ERA, 1.95 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 4.4 BB/9, 6.3 K/9
MLB (SD):  2-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, 5.1 IP, 8.4 BB/9, 6.8 K/9 

Gallagher continued to struggle with Oakland, although he pitched very well in five starts in AAA.  The A’s sent him to the Padres as the PTBNL in a deal for Scott Hairston, but he spent much of his time with the Padres on the disabled list with a knee injury.  He pitched only five and a third innings in relief for the Padres and one inning for their AAA affiliate.

2010
AAA (SD):  0-2-0, 4.91 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 11 IP, 3.3 BB/9, 9.8 K/9
MLB (SD):  0-0-0, 5.40 ERA, 1.84 WHIP, 23.1 IP, 7.3 BB/9, 8.1 K/9
MLB (Pgh):  2-1-0, 6.03 ERA, 1.75  WHIP, 34.1 IP, 5.8 BB/9, 5.8 K/9 

Gallagher continued to struggle with the Padres.  After the Pirates acquired him, he was one of their most heavily used relievers.  He didn’t pitch any better for them than he did for Padres.  His control issues continued and his K rate dropped sharply, as he walked and struck out the same number.  His opponents’ OBP for the entire year was .396.  The Pirates outrighted Gallagher to Indianapolis after the season.  They initially thought that he’d be eligible for minor league free agency, but it turned out he wasn’t.

2011
AAA:  5-12-0, 5.11 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 132 IP, 4.4 BB/9, 6.7 K/9 

The Pirates wanted two veterans in the Indianapolis rotation to serve as depth, and that turned out to be Gallagher and Brian Burres.  Gallagher got off to a terrible start, with an ERA of 8.74 in April.  He pitched better after that, but never had a really good stretch.  Control remained an issue and his strikeout rate was uncharacteristically low.  He got moved to the bullpen a few times during the year, but every time the team soon needed him back in the rotation.  His problems were entirely against left-handed hitters, who posted a .958 OPS against him.  He held right-handed hitters to .638.

Gallagher was an interesting flier for the Pirates to take as AAA depth, but he’s going rapidly backwards now.  The big drop in his K rate in 2011 was an especially bad sign, as his strong point (at least in the minors) has always been his swing-and-miss stuff.  He’ll be a free agent in the fall.  The Pirates should be able to find somebody better.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2011: Minor League Contract
2010: $413,500
2009: $410,000
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $60,000
MiLB Debut: 2004
MLB Debut: 6/9/2007
MiLB FA Eligible: 2011
MLB FA Eligible: 2015
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 6/6/2007 (Removed: 11/3/2010)
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2007, 2008, 2009)
MLB Service Time: 2.110
TRANSACTIONS
June 7, 2004: Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 12th round, 469th overall; signed on July 9.
June 6, 2007: Contract purchased by the Chicago Cubs.
July 8, 2008: Acquired by the Oakland Athletics from the Chicago Cubs along with Matt Murton, Eric Patterson, and Josh Donaldson in exchange for Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin.
July 13, 2009: Acquired by the San Diego Padres from the Oakland Athletics as the player to be named later in a deal which Oakland sent Ryan Webb and Craig Italiano to San Diego for Scott Hairston.
July 1, 2010: Designated for assignment by the San Diego Padres.
July 7, 2010: Acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the San Diego Padres for cash.
November 3, 2010: Outrighted to AAA by the Pittsburgh Pirates.