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Yankees' Joey Gallo Exits vs. Cleveland with Neck Injury Diagnosed as Tightness

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 18, 2021

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

New York Yankees left fielder Joey Gallo exited Saturday's game against Cleveland with tightness in his neck.

Tyler Wade replaced the two-time All-Star in the top of the fourth. Gallo was 0-for-1 in his only plate appearance.

The 27-year-old has fallen short of expectations with the Bronx Bombers since he arrived from the Texas Rangers ahead of the MLB trade deadline.

In his first 95 games this season, Gallo had a .379 on-base percentage and a .490 slugging percentage. Following the trade, those figures were .311 and .447 entering Saturday. His OPS has fallen over 100 points to .758. The short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium hasn't boosted his power numbers.

Some of his Yankees production comes down to bad luck. According to FanGraphs, Gallo has a .191 batting average on balls in play, well below his career rate (.265). However, he's also struck out in 38.8 percent of his plate appearances, which is by far the highest mark among Yankees regulars.

Even if it isn't serious, Gallo's neck injury couldn't have come at a worse time. Over his last 10 games, he owned a .333/.406/1.000 slash line with six home runs. He credited the team's hitting coaches with helping him tweak his swing to spur the turnaround.

That progress, however, might grind to a halt if he has to remain out of the lineup for multiple games.

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