Maybe it’s the Southern California air, or that he now has a bigger place by the beach after paying the same rent for “a pretty small apartment” in Manhattan.
More likely, it’s the “largely mechanical” suggestions Joey Gallo has taken from the Dodgers that have helped the 28-year-old slowly turn things around at the plate after a miserable year with the Yankees, who traded him to Los Angeles before the deadline for pitcher Clayton Beeter.
In eight games with the Dodgers, the two-time All-Star is 5-for-19 with two home runs, four RBIs, and two walks — and, yes, 10 strikeouts. He hit a pinch-hit, three-run home run last Wednesday in the seventh inning to extend the Dodgers’ lead over the Twins to 8-4.
“I knew I was kind of doing something in New York and something just wasn’t clicking or adding up consistently,” Gallo said, according to the Orange County Register. “That’s the key, trying to do it consistently and not lose that feel. I knew the way I was hitting in New York something was off. Then mentally you start trying to do too much. Then you’re trying to combat everything.
“They’ve done a good job of explaining things so far. It helps that I was in a good head space as well.”
While Gallo’s never hit for average, his on-base and slugging percentages usually made up for it. That wasn’t the case during his time with the Yankees, as he had a .660 OPS across 501 plate appearances the last two seasons.
Gallo explained to the Register that he’s not trying to do anything new, but rather unlock the things he was doing with the Rangers, with whom he had a .833 OPS over seven seasons.
“We’re still getting there with Joey,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, per the Register. “I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. I think right now we’re just trying to give him some leash and some runway to get some confidence.”
Confidence was something Gallo seemed to lose in The Bronx.
“Baseball is definitely a mental game,” Gallo said. “It’s nice to get a fresh start.”