Yankees Acquire Joey Gallo In Trade With Rangers
The Yankees have just had the player who best represents the style of baseball today. It’s about Joey Gallo, and when it comes to batting, defensive players might as well take a bathroom break.
Gallo, who the Yankees acquired in a trade with the Texas Rangers on Thursday, walked, pulled out or hit a home run – the sport’s so-called three real results – in 57.7% of his plate appearances this season. His career batting average is 0.211, the lowest in majors since his debut in 2015 among players with as many turns at bat.
The Yankees, of course, don’t care about the entertaining value of an action-short sport. Gallo excels in the qualities that matter most to the Yankees, who are lagging behind in the American League East and in the wildcard standings. Also, they think Gallo brings more than strikeouts, walks and homers.
“I’m not worried that we are adding a guy who is playing 38% of the time this year and hitting the ball over the fence,” manager Aaron Boone said dryly, before Thursday morning in St. Petersburg, Fla. a 14-0 rout of the Tampa Bay Rays to avoid a sweep.
“We have seen in the last couple of months a guy who is really starting to come back. He’s a great player; sign me up for the guy who’s on base almost 40 percent of the time and has that kind of power and provides that kind of potential balance for our roster, and on top of that he’s a doubles player. meaning. He’s a guy who really stands up and can run and do all of these things.
The Yankees traded four prospects – Class AAA right-hander Glenn Otto and three Class A infielders – to Rangers for Gallo and left-handed reliever Joely Rodriguez. Gallo, who made his second AHL All-Star earlier this month, reached 0.223 with 25 homers, 125 strikeouts and 74 walks, the best in the major league. No current Yankee has a better base percentage than Gallo’s .379.
Gallo, who can’t be a free agent until next season, will give the Yankees the left-hander presence they desperately need. He thinks he’ll fit into the lineup between two other hitters, right-hander Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
They will strike often, that’s for sure. But at their best, they will wear down pitchers and punish mistakes.
“With Judge and Joey, they’re probably not going to chase a ton – they’re going to get you into the zone, and that’s where the damage is done,” said former left-handed pitcher CJ Nitkowski, a Rangers TV analyst. . “And Joey has never knocked in front of someone as good as Stanton in his career. I can see why they would try to project a higher hike based on his place in that lineup.”
There’s more to love about Gallo, a Las Vegas native who perfected his swing as an amateur with help from former Yankee Jason Giambi, who ran a punching center that employed Gallo’s dad as an instructor. . Gallo hardly ever relies on double plays (just nine in addition to 2,100 career home plate appearances) and has led all left-handed hitters in left-handed pitching circuits since 2017, with 44.
Gallo is also huge (6ft 5in, 250lb) but his size masks his dexterity on the court. He won a golden glove at right field last season and has made at least 30 career starts to left, center and both corners of the infield. This is his seventh season in the majors but he is only 27 years old.
“I knew his reputation as an athlete and a defenseman, but seeing him in Texas when we went there for this four-game series, seeing him run, seeing him move in the outfield, seeing him pitch, you really noticed. that, ”Boone said. “He really jumps around the screen with how physically impressive he is with his athleticism.”
Gallo leads the AL right fielder in strikeouts and ranks second in outfield assists with nine. With Judge in right field for the Yankees, Gallo could play center or left and take some of the burden off veteran Brett Gardner, who has been forced into a daily role due to injuries to Aaron Hicks and others.
Gardner, who turns 38 next month, made a costly two-base error with the bases loaded on Thursday. Boone hasn’t said how he plans to use Gallo, but he will have options.
“It has penetrated its natural habitat well; I guess the Yankees will play him more on the left because there is more room and he can cover it, ”Nitkowski said. “But what’s interesting about him at center is that there aren’t a lot of center players who have good arms – a lot of guys can run but can’t throw – and you don’t have it all. just haven’t seen guys go from first to third on him very often at all. I’m surprised he has as many assists as he has this year and the guys are still taking that chance.
The Yankees also tweaked their field this week, acquiring Pittsburgh right-hander Clay Holmes for two minor-league infielders, sending Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to Cincinnati for a player to be named later and bringing in. Rodriguez, who detained lefties. at an average of 0.176 this season (6 for 34) without homerun.
But their main goal was to improve an imperfect formation – and they did that with Gallo, an imperfect player who does a few important things very well.
“No player is perfect,” said Boone. “But it’s hard to pretend we’re not a much better team by adding Joey Gallo.”
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