When LA acquired the slumping Gallo on Aug. 2, it seemed like a risky move that could easily pay off in the long run. After all, even during his darkest times in New York, Gallo showed off his light-tower power on occasion. It hadn’t disappeared due to injury. It was just laying dormant more often than not, thanks to whiff after whiff.
If the Dodgers’ coaching staff could drill down hard on Gallo’s lingering issues, they might be able to eventually figure this thing out. If not? Well, risk worth taking.
Turns out, that assessment was wrong. The Dodgers didn’t have to wait weeks to see if Gallo still had his All-Star form buried deep within him. It took, like, a couple of days for results to manifest.
Yes, Gallo currently has just four hits in 15 at-bats with the Dodgers. Yes, two of them are singles, one of which came off a position player. Yes, he’s struck out eight times (that’s his game).
But three of the four hits went to the opposite field, something he almost never did in New York. And one of them left the yard Wednesday night by a significant distance, giving the Dodgers some breathing room late in their 10th straight win.
Dodgers Joey Gallo hits opposite-field bombs. Yankees Joey Gallo did not.
Literally, he’s already been worth the price of admission.
The Dodgers’ messaging, from the front office to Dave Roberts, has been unified on the idea that Gallo had a few mechanical tweaks waiting to be made that could “unlock” his prodigious pop yet again.
This teeny, tiny sample size isn’t enough to determine anything about Gallo’s consistency, but it has proven he’s got something under the hood that the Yankees weren’t exploiting.
The game is at least half-mental, too, and following his dinger, Gallo’s postgame interview showed his lighter side. After all, everything’s lighter for him these days, now that he’s no longer in New York.
Memo to Dodgers fans: chant for this guy every time he gives you a reason to chant. Some thrive off negativity. The vitriol Yankee fans were spewing by the end of his tenure in New York went beyond that.
So far, so good for Gallo, who cost an intriguing prospect, but could easily deliver an opposite-field playoff smash for a team that’s rumbling over the rest of the league at the moment with no Achilles heel. Solid trade.