The Los Angeles Dodgers made an interesting move on Tuesday, acquiring struggling outfielder Joey Gallo from the New York Yankees. And one of the team’s existing stars has opened up about the move.
Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger, who is friends with Gallo, spoke to the media prior to the team’s game on Wednesday. And he gave a vote of full confidence in his two-time All-Star teammate.
“[His talent] is in there, it’s not gone,” Bellinger told reporters. “He’s a gifted athlete, man. Can hit for power, great defense, really good dude as well. So I know I’m excited to have him in the clubhouse.”
Gallo was once a premier power bat in the game. He posted back-to-back 40 home run seasons in 2017 and 2018. And the new Dodgers outfielder hit a combined 38 home runs last season.
However, following a deadline move to the Bronx in 2021, things fell apart. In 140 games in pinstripes, the 28-year-old hit just .159 with 25 home runs. In 421 at-bats, he struck out 194 times. However, Bellinger and the Dodgers have full confidence in the newest member of the team.
“We feel there’s some real potential upside,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “A year ago today, his industry value was significantly higher, and that same true talent level is still in place.”
To his credit, Gallo looks forward to his new start on the west coast. “Obviously I want to get back to being a threat at the plate again and doing damage,” Gallo said. “I think I learned a lot about myself in growing through those struggles. I want to be a good hitter, though. I definitely need to hit a little bit better.”