Joey Gallo ready for fresh start with Dodgers
Former New York Yankees outfielder Joey Gallo was involved in a trade deadline deal to the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday in exchange for right-handed arm Clayton Beeter.
Gallo’s tumultuous time in New York finally came to an end. He slashed .159/.291/.368 (.660 OPS; 85 OPS+) with 25 home runs and 46 RBIs in 501 plate appearances. In 2022, Gallo had 12 homers and 24 RBIs, but sported a lowly .159/.282/.339 slash line (.707 OPS, 94 OPS+) and struck out in nearly 40 percent of his plate appearances.
Gallo is eager for his new, fresh start in Dodger blue.
“My time in New York didn’t go as well as I wanted it to,” Gallo said, via MLB.com. “Obviously I wish I played better. … If you don’t play well, they look for somebody else to take that job and do it. But I think it’s nice to get a fresh start and a new clubhouse and a new place on the other side of the country, completely. And just get back to playing baseball again and trying to win games for the Dodgers.”
The Dodgers were looking for another bat at the deadline — they were a reported finalist for superstar Juan Soto, who got traded to NL West rival San Diego Padres. But they ultimately acquired Gallo, who will slot in as a fourth or fifth outfielder, platoon against right-handed pitchers and be a good defensive replacement for manager Dave Roberts to utilize.
“Baseball’s hard,” Roberts said. “And so the mind helps the performance. So my hope, our hope is that having a fresh start, having clarity, being open to the Dodgers will tap into that talent that [Gallo] does have and prove for performance. So there’s certainly an exhale and joy to be out of New York, nothing against the Yankees.”
“He’s a tremendous clubhouse guy and baseball player,” Alberto, his former minor league teammate, told MLB.com. “He works hard. The coaches here are super smart, we have a lot of technology and there’s a chance he produces like the Gallo of old. Let’s hope that’s the case. He’s always going to work hard and that’s the important part.”Find full quotes here.
Gallo led the American League in walks in 2021 with 111, though led MLB in strikeouts with 213 and slashed .199/351/.458 (.808 OPS; 121 OPS+) with 13 doubles, one triple, 38 home runs and 77 RBIs. He also won his second-straight gold glove in left field, while also earning his second-straight All-Star bid.
The 28-year-old, who got dealt to New York in last year’s trade deadline from an underperforming Texas Rangers ballclub, had difficulty navigating the rabid New York fanbase because of his poor performance. He’s recently been very honest and candid about his performance while dawning pinstripes, saying the backlash will be “something I’m gonna have to really live with” for the rest of his life.
“It’s hard to deal with, and at the end of the day, you want to make fans happy and proud,” Gallo said. “So when you are understandably getting not-good feedback from them on a constant basis, it’s tough. It doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. But that’s something I needed to learn, and I see it as part of growing for me as a person and as a player.”Via The Athletic
If Gallo can find his footing in Los Angeles, no matter his role, this will be one of the most feel-good stories in recent baseball history. There’s evidence of him producing at the major league level, it clearly didn’t work out in pinstripes for probably a multitude of reasons.
Nevertheless, moving from a big market to a big market may not have been the most ideal move in Gallo’s interest, but it allows him to have a fresh start with a new contender in hopes to winning a World Series.
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