Yankees’ Joey Gallo answers to criticism: ‘I didn’t play well as a Yankee’

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May 27, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Joey Gallo (13) looks on as he is on deck to bat during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees slugger Joey Gallo knows his time in the Bronx is coming to an end. With general manager Brian Cashman acquiring Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals, adding another lefty batter to the outfield, it is only a matter of time before Gallo is sent on his way in exchange for prospects.

Joey is currently on a one-year, $10.3 million deal. Another team will have to pay the remainder of his salary, but he has value on a small market team that isn’t going to overwhelm him with stress and anxiety in the batter’s box every day.

The Yankees can’t rely on Joey Gallo anymore:

Gallo has simply been overwhelmed by the constant badgering and criticism from Yankee fans. They rain down boo’s upon him in every at bat, which has an effect on a player’s psyche.

“This is a tough place to not play well,” Gallo said of New York, per Lindsey Adler of The Athletic. “It’s hard to deal with, and at the end of the day, you want to make fans happy and proud. So when you are understandably getting not-good feedback from them on a constant basis, it’s tough. It doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. But that’s something I needed to learn, and I see it as part of growing for me as a person and as a player.”

However, Gallo will remember every bad moment wishing things had been different. He noted the negative association with Yankee hats and jerseys, which won’t dissipate. Time is likely his only savior in that respect.

“Every time I see a Yankees hat, every time I see a Yankees jersey, it’s something I’m going to have to understand,” Gallo said at Yankee Stadium on Thursday. “I didn’t play well as a Yankee. I wish I had.”

Gallo has been a shell of his usual self this season, hitting .159 with a 28% on-base rate, a career-worst .339 slugging percentage, and a 39% strikeout rate. He’s only tallied 12 homers this season with 24 RBIs, posting a 0.2 WAR, the worst in his career over a sample size of more than 18 games.

However, some of his numbers indicate he’s been unlucky. He still hosts a 48% hard-hit rate, 17.3% barrel rate, and 23.9° of launch angle. He makes solid contact based on his hard-hit metrics, but his WHIFF rates are insane.

Against fastballs, Gallo features a 36.9% WHIFF rate, 47.3% against breaking balls, and 43.9% against offspeed pitches. Those are atrocious numbers that indicate blasphemous game-by-game performances. His inability to make simple contact has completely destroyed his value.

“When I see my numbers, I feel like I’ve played better than that,” Gallo said. “There are a couple of things mechanically that I think I could have been better about monitoring. Baseball is a weird game. You can be doing something slightly wrong, and in baseball you just start doing it every day, and it starts to become a habit you don’t notice. I just feel like something here got out of rhythm, out of whack.”

Hopefully, the Yankees can send him to a team where his value is appreciated, and he can thrive without the added pressure of the outside noise.

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