When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Joey Gallo from the Yankees at the 2022 MLB Trade Deadline, they were desperately hoping that a change of scenery could alter the slugger’s comfort level in time for him to rediscover his All-Star form.
Either that, or LA could at least run into a home run or two every so often by adding a low-risk bench bat with star potential. Gallo was the wild card of all wild cards. He wasn’t being imported to be a star. He just had to close his eyes and mash on occasion for the runaway best team in the National League.
Then, something interesting happened. Gallo immediately seemed refreshed after landing in California, clubbing three homers and posting a 155 OPS+/.949 OPS in his first 10 games in Dodger Blue. Forget “low-impact”; Gallo was on the verge of becoming the reason for Cody Bellinger’s eventual expulsion.
Sadly, since then, Gallo’s remained an affable and gregarious presence in the locker room, but he’s hit a lot more like the New York version of himself, carrying a 4-for-33 line in recent weeks.
That has sunk his overall stat line, creating a far more familiar picture as the postseason approaches.
Dodgers’ Joey Gallo striking out, struggling like he did with Yankees
Any fan would rather Gallo feel welcome than be uncomfortable in his skin, but it now appears the Dodgers have obtained an equally-streaky asset. There’s always a chance he can run into a baseball, and when he does, it’ll go further than most. But if anyone believed Gallo had suddenly acquired consistency midstream, it seems they were sorely mistaken.
To add insult to ineffectiveness, the Yankees acquired pitching prospect Clayton Beeter in return, who has certainly taken advantage of his new opportunity.
Beeter could very well be a reliever moving forward, but if he can harness his stuff (as he has so far), he could be an upper-echelon innings-eraser with the Bombers.
It’s still not clear what Gallo can be, and the Dodgers (or someone else) probably won’t figure out exactly how competent he is until his one-year, prove-it deal this offseason.
Without another quick reversal, it appears Gallo might be a candidate to “run into one” entering October while playing his usual above-average defense. It would be unfair to expect anything night-and-day from his first-half output, however.