Joey Gallo Hits New Low As Yankees Decline To Use Him In Key Pinch-Hit Spot

New York left Gallo on the bench against a right-handed pitcher in a tie game


Jul 28, 2022

Besides his agent and possibly a few close family members, nobody is advocating for Joey Gallo to play more often for the New York Yankees these days.

Still, there are some situations where, if the Yankees aren’t going to use Gallo, there’s no use having him on the roster. One of those situations arose Wednesday.

With light-hitting catcher Kyle Higashioka due up against right-handed pitcher Seth Lugo of the New York Mets, Yankees manager Aaron Boone opted to leave Gallo on the bench and instead pinch hit Jose Trevino, a right-handed batter, over the lefty-hitting Gallo.

In the ninth inning. Of a tie game.

In a vacuum, that’s a tailor-made spot for a hitter like Gallo, whose prodigious power provides an opportunity to change the game with one swing. But Gallo’s production has turned so anemic, the Yankees determined he wasn’t even worth a roll of the dice.

Gallo is batting .161 with an 80 OPS+, and has struck out 103 times in 230 at-bats this season. He struck out a league-high 213 times last season, but he clubbed 38 home runs between the Yankees and Texas Rangers to be worth the trade-off. This season, though, he’s slugging just .343 with 12 home runs in 80 games.

As a left-handed batter. At Yankee Stadium, with it’s short porch in right field.

Gallo’s struggles led the Yankees to trade for Andrew Benintendi on Wednesday night. Desperate for production from the left side of the plate, New York acquired basically the polar opposite of Gallo in Benintendi, a line-drive hitter with a .320 batting average but only 138 total bases.

The ability to hit the ball far isn’t worth much if you can’t make contact, though, and the Yankees’ actions on Wednesday reveal just how little faith they currently have in Gallo.

Thumbnail photo via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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