Weekend Dish

See also: Friday’s Daily Dish

Brewers righthander Yovani Gallardo was just OK in his Futures Game appearance Sunday. The 2004 second-round pick allowed a hit and a walk in the five batters he faced, but there have been signs of the 20-year-old wearing down slightly as he makes adjustments in Double-A.

Gallardo dominated the high Class A Florida State League at Brevard County, going 6-3, 2.09 with 109 strikeouts in 78 innings and earned a promotion to Double-A Huntsville.

He dealt in his first two Double-A starts, compiling 16 strikeouts in 14 innings, but in his last outing against Birmingham, walking five in 4 2/3 innings of work.

“It’™s at that point in the season where you feel a little tired, but that has to be something you work through,” Gallardo said. “But I’™m also working on some things and adjusting to this new level. I’™ve just been trying to do the same thing I was doing in Brevard. Just work in and out, keep the ball down and throw my offspeed stuff a lot more than ever before.

“If anything, I’™ve gained a lot of confidence in my changeup. Last year, I maybe threw it 10 or 15 times the whole season. Now I’™m using it 10 or 15 times in a game, so that has been a big difference and allowed me to work off my other pitches more. But it’™s still coming along. Every now and then I tend to cut through it and I don’™t have a good grip on it and it hangs a little. I just need to get it where I’™m more consistent with my arm speed and the grip. It shows some flashes, but it’™s not really where I want it to be.”

Sunday, Gallardo wasn’™t as sharp as he’™d been in the past. One National League scout rated his fastball as only slightly above-average because it didn’™t have it’™s normal run in against righthanders, and graded his slider as an average pitch.

“He didn’™t do it for me,” the scout said. “He was flat–all his pitches had average life and he just didn’™t show you what guys like (Tigers righthander Humberto) Sanchez or even (Reds righthander Homer) Bailey showed you, even though he was nothing but fastballs. He left you wanting more.”



• The Cardinals have shifted catcher Jason Motte to the mound after Motte gave them definitive evidence that despite above-average arm strength and receiving skills, he would not hit in pro ball. A 19th-round pick out of Iona in 2003, Motte had a .190 career batting average in 612 at-bats, with a 23-204 walk-strikeout ratio. He picked up his third save Sunday as a pitcher at short-season State College and has made eight appearances on the mound. The rest of the game was a showcase for State College’™s top draftees, as former Tulane first baseman Mark Hamilton homered and drove in three runs while first-rounder Adam Ottavino, out of Northeastern, struck out seven in six scoreless innings. Motte wrapped up a 3-0 victory. Hamilton’™s homer was his sixth, double the total of anyone else still in the New York-Penn League . . . Rockies righthander Shane Lindsay appears to be healthy. He struck out 12 in five scoreless innings Sunday in Tri-City’™s 2-0 victory against Spokane. Lindsay, rehabbing a shoulder injury in the short-season Northwest League, has 27 strikeouts (and 12 walks) in 20 innings and is 1-2, 2.75 so far this season . . . Giants third-rounder Clayton Tanner made his pro debut with two scoreless innings for short-season Salem-Keizer in the Volcanoes’™ 9-0 victory against Vancouver. Tanner, a lefthander whose fastball hit 92 mph in the spring, skipped Rookie ball to make his pro debut . . . Righthander Edgar Garcia has been on the Phillies’™ prospect list, ranking ninth and 12th the last two years, even though he has yet to pitch in full-season ball. The 18-year-old Dominican picked up his first win of the 2006 New York-Penn League season, throwing a complete game Saturday in Batavia’™s 6-1 victory against Hudson Valley. Garcia, whose 29 innings pitched in four starts leads the NY-P, struck out seven without giving up a walk. He has walked only one this season with 19 strikeouts . . . The NY-P’™s best hitter so far has been Aberdeen’™s Chris Vinyard, who was leading the league in batting at .435 through Saturday after hitting his third home run in a loss to Mahoning Valley. Vinyard starred at Chandler-Gilbert CC in the spring and was one of the top hitters in Arizona’™s rich junior college ranks. He signed as a draft-and-follow for a $90,000 bonus. His biggest negatives are that he’™s a righthanded-hitting, righthanded-throwing first baseman whose limited athleticism restricts him to first base. But scouts who saw him this spring were united in their praise of his hitting ability, as he has the bat speed to catch up to good fastballs and the power to drive them out of the park . . . Righthander Matt Fox has returned for the Twins after missing all of 2005 with a shoulder injury. Fox, a supplemental first-round pick in 2004 out of Central Florida, is working his way back slowly out of the Rookie-level Elizabethton bullpen and picked up his first save Saturday, getting one out. He has 13 strikeouts in 10 innings while allowing one run (a solo homer) and two walks . . . Cuban defector Osbeck Castillo made an auspicious debut with two scoreless innings in the Rookie-level Pioneer league, striking out five for Missoula. The Diamondbacks drafted the 6-foot-3, 195-pound righthander in the 32nd round. Castillo, 25, defected just prior to the 2004 Olympics and had been mostly inactive for two years while trying to become a free agent, but finally relented and entered the draft.