Yankees make big outfield shift after slugger approaches 40% strikeout rate

joey gallo, yankees

On Wednesday, the New York Yankees faced off against the Detroit Tigers in the second game of a three-game series. Locking in a 5–3 victory, thanks to five innings from Luis Severino, the Bombers have now increased their record to 7-5 after hitting the .500 mark just three days ago.

While Severino struggled to some degree, giving up seven hits and two walks, he only allowed one earned run, which is quite mesmerizing considering the amount of production he allowed through five innings. However, despite a poor performance from Chad Green in the 6th, the bullpen locked Detroit down to finish off the contest, giving up one hit over the last three innings.

The Yankees made a big decision to sit Joey Gallo:

One of the bigger decisions made by manager Aaron Boone was to sit outfielder Joey Gallo, who currently hosts an abysmal .121 batting average on the season.

There is reason to believe that Gallo is getting unlucky, considering he’s earned a 22.2% barrel rate and 50% hard-hit percentage, displaying good contact but simply not elevating the ball enough. His launch angle sits at just 11.9 degrees compared to 22.7 degrees last year, showcasing an interesting change in fundamentals.

Nonetheless, given Gallo is striking out at nearly 40% this year and has just four hits to his name, the Yankees felt they needed to sit him on Wednesday, featuring Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield instead.

Stanton has played defensively in just four games this season, amounting to 34.2 innings. There is no question that Stanton is capable of playing the outfield every day, but injury concerns over the past few years have created a bit of caution for management.

If Gallo continues to struggle, the Bombers could simply replace him entirely with a mesh of Stanton and Tim Locastro, who put on a defensive show against the Baltimore Orioles earlier this week.

Gallo‘s advanced stats tell a story of missed opportunities and bad luck, but the former Texas Ranger has struggled considerably since joining the Yankees and donning the pinstripes. If he puts together a full year of poor play (half of 2021 and 2022), management may have to consider dropping him from the lineup entirely. Gallo was only used as a defensive player in the 9th inning over Stanton, so he must be feeling the pressure of being left out due to poor offensive play.

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