Traded to Dodgers, Joey Gallo opens up about struggles with Yankees: ‘I hit rock bottom’

Any time a player enters a new market and doesn’t meet expectations, it can be mentally and emotionally draining. And now that Joey Gallo has been traded twice in the space of a year and five days, he is ready for another new beginning.

rooster, who the New York Yankees traded Tuesday afternoon to the Los Angeles Dodgers according to multiple reports, he struggled during his time in the Bronx and often faced criticism from fans who booed him.

In an interview Monday with NJ Advance MediaGallo spoke about his time in New York and detailed how he struggled to fit in and live up to the hype.

“I don’t know how they usually are, but I don’t know how much tougher they can get,” Gallo said of the Yankees fans. “Almost every team we played on, players on that team came up to me and said, ‘Hey, bro, keep your head up. Don’t listen to them.’ “

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When asked which players had reached out, Gallo declined to specify, but explained how those who contacted him added to his emotional struggles and trust issues.

“I don’t want to name names,” he continued. “Kansas City guys reached out to me over the weekend. A lot of guys. Honestly, it makes me feel like a piece of (expletive). I remember playing here with the Rangers, watching the Yankees get booed off the field and thinking, ‘Holy (expletive)! I feel bad for that guy.’ Now it’s me. I appreciate people reaching out, but it makes me feel like I’m a problem.”

Joey Gallo reacts after making one out against the Red Sox on July 17.

Joey Gallo reacts after making one out against the Red Sox on July 17.

texas rangers traded Gallo on July 28 from last year in a move that was designed to help give the Yankees a much-needed boost to their hitting power. He came into the Yankees’ clubhouse with a reputation as a reliable player with his glove who could swing for power, though he often made himself susceptible to high strikeout totals and low batting averages.

In six and a half seasons at Texas, Gallo made two All-Star appearances (in 2019 and 2021) and won two Gold Gloves (in 2020 and 2021). He hit .211 and hit 145 home runs with 317 RBIs.

But, in his time in the Bronx, even the things he does well were out of the question.

Gallo played 140 games for New York and had 501 plate appearances. In them, he hit 25 home runs and totaled only 46 RBIs, but he hit .159 and struck out 194 times.

Gallo told NJ Advance Media that he rarely went out to New York because he didn’t want to show his face in the city in light of his problems, but he attributed some of his depression on the field to not being as consistent a player in New York’s lineup. the Yankees. that he is loaded with hitters.

“I was never able to leave like this,” Gallo said. “It’s weird. In Texas I was playing every day, so it was a little bit easier to have a streak. It’s a little harder not to play every day trying to keep that streak going as well.”

Since late May, Gallo has regularly appeared as the Yankees’ No. 9 hitter, trailing less established career hitters like Isiah Kiner-Falefa and José Treviño, a sign of how low his value had fallen.

Shortly after the All-Star break, Gallo did not appear in the starting lineup during the Subway Series, despite the Mets using two right-handed starters and the absence of Giancarlo Stanton, who had just been placed on the disabled list (tendinitis). of Achilles). .

“I have a lot of respect for how he worked, how he carried himself,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after the trade Tuesday. “Many of us really felt the situation he was in and the burden he felt and carried. I think a lot of us, myself included, are very hopeful that he’ll go and take back what we know he’s capable of. I will really support him from afar.”

With the acquisition of left-handed hitter Andrew Benintendi in a trade from Kansas City further infringing on Gallo’s playing time, manager Aaron Boone said he has maintained “open and honest” communications with his beleaguered left-handed slugger.

“I went through a lot of adversity and I really had to question myself a lot,” Gallo said. “My confidence suffered. I’d say I hit rock bottom in the big leagues. So for me, I was just trying to remember to be a good teammate, play the game the right way, play the game hard and not do something stupid that would hurt me.” I regret

“I guess I learned a lot about myself. Baseball is a tough game. But it definitely made me stronger because not a lot of people have been through what I’ve been through.”

Gallo was traded Tuesday to the Dodgers for Class AA right-handed pitcher Clayton Beeter. Gallo, 28, is eligible for free agency after this season.

“I’m really going to miss this team, I’m going to miss these guys,” Gallo said of the Yankees. “It’s going to be very hard to leave these guys. We’ve had a lot of fun. We’re a tight-knit group. But moving on is part of the business. I’m ready.”

Contributor: Pete Caldera, NorthJersey.com

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Joey Gallo, traded to the Dodgers, opens up about his problems with the Yankees

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