Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gallardo's Homer, Shutout Work Earns W; Hafner Goes Yard Again

Players of the Day for Saturday, March 20, 2010 American League After displaying extraordinary power in his early years, Travis Hafner was injured in 2008 and limited to just 5 home runs, had shoulder surgery prior to the 2009 season and hit just 16 homers last season, but a 3-run blast in Cleveland's 12-4 romp past Oakland raised some eyebrows and hopes that Hafner is fully recovered from shoulder surgery. It was Hafner's second homer of the Spring, and they came in successive games. The Indians sorely need Hafner's big bat. From 2004 through 2007, he averaged 31 homers and 108 RBI. National League Yovani Gallardo earned his second win of the Spring, blanking the Royals on 4 hits over 5 innings. Gallardo walked 2 and struck out three, and lowered his ERA to 2.57 over 14 innings of exhibition work. The Brewers eked out a 1-0 win thanks to Gallardo's solo homer in the 3rd inning. In 2009, Gallardo appeared on the verge of becoming a stopper for the Brewers, going 8-7 with a 3.22 ERA prior to the all star break. However, he tailed off toward the end of the season, as the Brewers fell out of contention. His second half record of 5-5 included a ballooning ERA of 4.56. Gallardo will have to prove he can remain strong for an entire season before he makes the leap to being one of the league's elite throwers.

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