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A 29th-round draft pick by the Boston Red Sox in 2000, Gabbard started the 2006 season with Boston's Double-A affiliate Portland and posted a 9-2 record with a 2.57 ERA in 13 starts. Promoted to Triple-A affiliate Pawtucket on June 23, he went 1-3 with a 4.97 ERA in five starts. He earned a promotion to the Boston Red Sox on July 21 to replace Tim Wakefield, who was on the disabled list. In his Major League debut on July 22, he allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings to the Seattle Mariners and was charged with a loss. Gabbard's first major league win was on September 5 against the Chicago White Sox. Gabbard was solid, going 7 shutout innings, surrendering three hits and striking out six in a 1-0 Red Sox win.
Gabbard became the ninth rookie to pitch for the Red Sox in the 2006 season, joining Abe Alvarez, Craig Breslow, Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hansen, Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, David Pauley, and Jermaine Van Buren. He also became the third Triple-A recall to move into Boston's rotation in six weeks, joining Kyle Snyder and Lester. They replaced David Wells and Matt Clement, who were on the disabled list. Likewise, Gabbard joined Pauley as one of two Boston starters to have begun the 2006 season in Double-A Portland.
Gabbard was called up from Triple A Pawtucket to pitch on May 20, 2007 against Atlanta in place of Josh Beckett. He had a good performance allowing 2 runs on 6 hits over 5 innings and got the win. He was then immediately optioned back to Pawtucket after the game. Gabbard started on June 26, 2007 against Seattle in place of Curt Schilling, who was placed on the Disabled List. Gabbard had a sub-par performance, earning a no decision, and lasted only 3 1/3 innings allowing 4 runs on 6 hits while walking six and striking out two. Gabbard performed well in his third start of the season on July 2, 2007 allowing three runs on three hits while walking four and striking out five, earning the win.
Gabbard was traded to the Texas Rangers on the July 31 trade deadline, along with David Murphy and Engel Beltre, for relief pitcher Eric Gagné. Gabbard made his Ranger debut on August 2, 2007 against the Cleveland Indians. He was pinned for the loss as the Indians won the game 5-0.
On May 8, 2008 in a game against the Seattle Mariners, Gabbard was charged on the mound by Seattle Mariner's Richie Sexson. Sexson threw his batting helmet at Gabbard after Gabbard's head-high pitch towards Sexson. Sexson later stated he was frustrated and had a lot going on in his head, including his club's recent struggles. Sexson was suspended six games for the incident, but he successfully appealed it and the suspension was dropped to five games.
During the All-Star Break, Gabbard had surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow, ending his season. Before the injury, he had gone 2-3 with a 4.82 ERA for the Rangers, in 12 starts.
Gabbard began the season at Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he struggled, going 0-1 with a 10.50 ERA.
Gabbard was traded back to the Red Sox on April 23, in exchange for cash, and will report to the club's Spring Training facility in Fort Myers, Florida.
Gabbard has the standard repertoire of fastball, curveball, and changeup, occasionally throwing a slider. Gabbard's fastball hits the high-80s, his changeup works the best low and away on right-handed hitters, and his slow curveball is especially effective against lefties. Not a power strikeout pitcher, Gabbard has been compared to Mark Buehrle and Kenny Rogers and Sandy Koufax.
- Gabbard and his Rangers teammate, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, were childhood friends. The two played high school baseball at Royal Palm Beach High School in Florida. Both were traded to the Rangers from different teams on July 31, 2007.
- On August 22, 2007, Gabbard was the winning pitcher during a game where the Rangers outscored the Baltimore Orioles 30-3, the most runs scored in any game since the modern era.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Minor League Splits and Situational Stats
- ↑ MLB - Kansas City Royals/Boston Red Sox Recap Monday July 16, 2007 - Yahoo! Sports
- ↑ Gabbard tastes victory in home debut. texas.rangers.mlb.com (2007-08-08).
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