Minor League Sports

Baseball Notebook: Iowa City's Nick Gallagher finally gets his 1st pro pitching outing

Former Iowa pitcher Nick Gallagher. (The Gazette)
Former Iowa pitcher Nick Gallagher. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — You saw that Nick Gallagher got picked by the Cleveland Indians in last year’s Major League Baseball Draft. You heard that he decided to forego his final season of eligibility at the University of Iowa to turn pro.

But you didn’t see him ever play a game, let alone get assigned to one of the Indians’ minor league affiliates. There was a reason for that.

The fomer Iowa City West prep had a bit of a right shoulder issue, and Cleveland decided to send him to their minor league complex in Arizona after he signed. Gallagher rehabbed, strengthened his shoulder and was a full go this spring training.

He got assigned to Lake County of the Midwest League last week and finally had his first professional outing. It was a beauty: 3 1/3 innings of shutout ball and a save against Bowling Green.

“Just getting out there was something I’d been looking forward to for awhile,” Gallagher said. “I’ve been thinking about my debut for a long time, was very much looking forward to it the whole offseason. It finally came, and it was a blast.”

Gallagher gave up two hits, didn’t walk anyone and struck out three. One of those three punchouts was of Brendan McKay, the third-overall pick of last year’s draft who is attempting a career as a two-way player.

Gallagher was Cleveland’s 16th-round pick in 2017.

“A week after the draft last year, I was expecting to play short-season ball somewhere,” he said. “But with not being 100-percent healthy, they just told me to go down to Arizona the rest of the season, get my arm healthy and get ready for this year.

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“I did not want to overtrain (in the offseason). I feel a lot of times that causes injuries, when you strive to do too much. I had a really good program to follow, and that’s what I did.”

Gallagher is one of eight guys being used in a tandem-starting (or piggyback) rotation at Lake County. It’s four groups of two, each guy limited to a certain number of pitches per outing but always knowing what day he is going to throw.

Lake County comes over to the Western Division for a series next week at Quad Cities, with Gallagher looking forward to hopefully being able to pitch in front of family and friends.

“(Pro ball) is definitely different, but I’m really happy,” he said. “This is where I’ve always wanted to be. I’m just trying to take it in day by day. It’s a lot of fun.”

More pitching moves for Kernels

The Cedar Rapids Kernels announced Saturday that pitcher Moises Gomez has been reassigned to Minnesota Twins extended spring training and been replaced on the active roster by pitcher Rickey Ramirez. Both are right-handers.

Gomez was 0-0 with a 3.86 earned run average in four appearances spanning seven innings. Ramirez was a 15th-round draft pick of Minnesota last season out of Fresno State who pitched for Rookie-level Elizabethton.

It’s the third day in a row Cedar Rapids has had pitching movement.

How they're doing

Jake Adams (Iowa) — First baseman with low-Class A Quad Cities (Astros) had a 3-for-3 game with a home run Thursday night against Kane County to raise his batting average to .264 in 15 games, with two homers and seven RBIs.

Joel Booker (Iowa) — Outfielder with high-a Winston-Salem (White Sox) is killing it to the tune of a .375 average in 18 games, with two homers, five RBIs, seven stolen bases and a .991 OPS.

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Matt Dermody (Iowa) — Outrighted off Toronto’s 40-man roster, the lefty pitcher is 0-0 with a 7.20 earned run average in five games for Triple-A Syracuse.

Nick Gallagher (Iowa/Iowa City West) — Right-handed pitcher made his pro debut last week for low-A Lake County (Indians), throwing 3 1/3 innings, allowing two hits, no walks or runs and striking out three for a save against Bowling Green.

Blake Hickman (Iowa) — In five games as a reliever for high-A Winston-Salem (White Sox), righty is 0-0 with a 1.74 ERA. He has allowed six hits in 10 1/3 innings, striking out 12.

Mitch Keller (Cedar Rapids Xavier) — Is 2-0 in three starts for Double-A Altoona (Pirates), with 20 strikeouts and only 11 hits allowed in 18 2/3 innings.

Mason McCoy (Iowa) — Shortstop hitting .180 in 18 games for low-A Delmarva (Orioles).

Nick Roscetti (Iowa) — Eight hits in his last four games has the infielder’s batting average at .366 in 13 games for low-A Wisconsin (Brewers).

Tyler Peyton (Iowa) — Has pitched in six games for high-A Myrtle Beach (Cubs), has a 1-1 record and 2.08 ERA.

Scott Schebler (Cedar Rapids Prairie) — Outfielder has gotten hot since coming off the disabled list, boosting his batting average to .310, with two homers and eight RBIs.

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Jake Yacinich (Iowa) — Sent to Double-A Mobile (Angels), infielder is 1-for-5 with a double and walk in his first two games. Was hitting .148 in seven games for high-A Inland Empire at time of his promotion.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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