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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Can Joey Gallo be saved?

Lo and behold: Yesterday's chatter wires brought not one but two Joey Gallo stories! And the birds cried Poo-Tee-Weet...

The first concerns Gallo's "quirky" - (I'd go with macabre) - pre-game ceremony of laying out his uniform, piece by piece, before putting it on... sort of like a serial killer admiring his collection of spleens. If anything intervenes, he undresses and starts over. Yikes. The ancient Jersey scribe, Bob Klapisch, wrote about this, suggesting via an anonymous know-it-all that the Yankees should have looked closer before bringing such a fussbudget to Gotham. Interestingly, Gallo clapped back on Twitter, asking who cares about his pre-game rituals? So... a bit touchy are we?

Well, the fuss is not that Gallo is "quirky." It's that he batted .160 and led MLB in strikeouts.

The second Gallo story concerns one of the four prospects we traded for him. In the Arizona Instructional League, 22-year-old Eziquel Duran, a 3B, yesterday finished a HR shy of the cycle, his third straight game with three hits. He's ripping it up. Of course, we know the Yankees gave up nothing in the Gallo trade: They told us so. Thus, no worries, right? No need to remember that name... Eziquel Duran. 

But here's my Essay Question: Is there a batting coach out there who can save Gallo from the impending Dave Kingman School of Extinction? Because I think he is one bad month of April away from becoming the face of Yankee Mediocrity, which means a ticket to scapegoat-hood.  

The Yankees have Gallo because the front office last spring fucked up and presented a team without lefty bats. At the last minute, they brought in Jay Bruce, who was done. As botches go, this was a doozy. For all their analytics, all their number-crunching, the big brains atop the Yankee larder made an incredible error, so when the Aug. 1 trade deadline neared, they had no choice but to chase whatever LH hitters were available, and Texas had seen enough of Gallo (as they had Rougned Odor before him.)  

Supposedly, a few teams still covet Gallo. Actually, I think it's one team: San Diego, which just shot its wad on a payroll that missed the wild card. I'd happily see Gallo go for a catcher, a SS or a bullpen lug nut. (Manny Machado in a salary dump? You heard it here first.) But there is a voice inside me that wonders: 

Is this guy redeemable? 

If Gallo shortened his swing with two strikes, if he learns to bunt or hit to left, could he save himself? This fall, he looked like a hockey goon, lunging for the fences on every pitch, regardless of the situation. Let's not forget that when Phil Nevin waved Aaron Judge around third in that fateful wild card debacle, the coach knew that Gallo was the next batter - (he'd hit an infield pop-up) - and so maybe our best shot was going for home?  

Gallo has one thing going for him. He draws a shitload of walks. (He finished 2nd this year, after Juan Soto.) If he could hit - say - .230 - look, we're not talking Rod Carew here - he could be an effective lefty presence. So, can he change? Who will be that Yankee hitting coach, the Anne Sullivan, who saves Gallo from himself?

Fuck if I know. But I do know this: If Gallo refuses to change, the Yankees should pay someone to mess up his uniform layout before each game. The guy needs a bucket of ice water thrown on him. Otherwise, his next stop won't be San Diego. It'll be Palookaville.

13 comments:

Dantes said...

Joey Gallo lead the league in bunt hits last season and still only batted .200. I’d ship him to the Padres ASAP

Ironbow said...

Joey Gallo is plain awful. Has no clue at the plate.

JM said...

Don't overlook the fact that Gallo's wide-open eyes make him look like a paranoid serial killer. The hair helps, too, although I have to say that I like his cut. Kind of rock and roll. And way better than the me-too shaved back and sides crap a lot of guys sport.

And he can bunt. If he bunted more last year, his BA would doubtless have been higher.

Which brings us to Rizzo, who we only rented. Great glove at first. Chokes up with two strikes. Situational hitter. He'd be my choice as the guy to keep instead of Joey (every time I hear his name I think of the Mafioso...maybe we start calling him Crazy Joe Gallo). But of course, we'll reinstall Voit or pick up another Jay Bruce, just to make sure first base remains a real problem position.

It's gonna be a long six months. Wonder how Brain and his stat wizards will screw up the offseason?

Celerino Sanchez said...

Gallo is a lifetime .206 hitter, with 885 SO in 2014 AB. 44% SO rate. So considering what this brain trust has done with Sanchez, Torres, Frazier & Andujar, those number will only get worse.

ranger_lp said...

Did the analytics department do the metrics on Gallo if he did well on days that there was no intervention when he dresses as opposed to when there was intervention?

JimmyEatsHotDogs said...

Please Please Please .... trade Joey Gallo as soon as possible!

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Gallo cannot possibly be on this team next year, I mean, WTF> it would be INSANITY to bring him back!

Doug K. said...

I'd write something funny here but I don't do Gallos humor.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Ouch, Doug! And I agree, JM: Rizzo would be a much better choice than Gallo. I don't even want Joey, Joey King of the Streets as a back-up.

If the Yanks truly don't have a minor-league outfielder who can hit .160 and strikeout less than 44 percent of the time, they should get rid of all their minor-league outfielders. And everybody involved with running the minor-league system.

......Since 56 said...

HC
Great use of common sense “ analytics”… can’t hit….strikes out too much…
OUT OF HERE !

Kevin said...

Hey! Let's not forget that he has a great glove, on a team bereft of them. If only, if only... I never understood batting batting him near the top of the order, even if he swung his schlong from the left side. He is a very useful player if used correctly. Namely he makes a perfect seven hole hitter who might drive in a 120 rbis, score 80-100 runs, and win a Gold Glove. He's a very nice complimentary player, not someone a smart GM builds around. Oh. Yeah.

Kevin said...

PS, I forgot to sign the above on my opinion of Gallo. Kevin

JM said...

Gallos humor....Doug...lol!