Joey Gallo is in a deep slump but Aaron Boone still believes he has a ‘really productive player’ – The Mercury News

Not many people in the Big Apple are having a worse month than Joey Gallo.

The Yankee outfielder started the season on a 5-for-41 (.122) skid. The home runs and walks, his main saving grace his, also have not shown up yet. In fact, Gallo came into Saturday’s game without a single extra-base hit on the season. Everyone knows that Gallo is in the dumps right now, leading his manager to shift his evaluation away from the raw numbers.

“The work is there, the work is right,” Aaron Boone said. “He’s a different kind of player, even when it’s going well. It’s human nature to want to chase results a little bit. Focus on the at-bat. Focus on winning pitches. If he does that consistently over time, he’s going to get on and he’s going to hit the ball hard. If he does that, we’re going to get a really productive player.”

That player has not arrived yet. When the Yankees traded for Gallo at last year’s deadline, he was a middle-of-the-order staple. Gallo’s two main positions in the Yankee batting order last season were fourth and fifth. This year, he finds himself slowly moving down. Gallo hit seventh for Saturday’s game against Cleveland, a game he rode into on a 1-for-17 (.059) arctic spell.

“If you play this game long enough — and frankly, if you play it successfully — you’re going to go through times of that,” Boone said. “You gotta deal with that. It’s part of navigating being a really good big-league player. It can be heavy. It’s pressure packed. For me, it’s about getting to a point, again, of not obsessing over the results.”

Boone told a story of a game that he estimated was either 1998 or 1999. His Reds were playing in Cleveland, who had a young Manny Ramirez. As Boone remembers it, Ramirez grounded into a double play in a big spot and came off the field laughing and shrugging his shoulders.

“There’s a level of, ‘Oh well,’” Boone said of America’s pastime and its tendency to be cruel. “Sometimes even the best of players are going to not get the job done. You’ve gotta be OK living with that.”


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