Finding Gallo’s beast mode. 62 comments


When it comes down to it, the biggest beneficiary of this grand technological metamorphosis the Rangers are undertaking, where they are breaking down swings and using data to remold players, might just be Joey Gallo.

He has the most to gain. Maybe a better way to look at it is, he has the most room for improvement. This spring, every Joey Gallo at-bat is a lab experiment.

What is he able to do with two-strikes? Has he learned to go the other way? Is he laying off pitches? How is his approach?

Eric Nadel and Matt Hicks talked about it during the Rangers first spring training game, about the incredible lengths the coaching staff and Gallo are going through to remake Gallo.

It’s no secret the guy has damaging power. While hitting 20 home runs in the major leagues used to be special, so many players did it in 2018 that it’s table stakes. But a 40-home-run season is still pretty unique. Yet, when Gallo gets nearly 600 plate appearances a year, he has to have more than just 40 noteworthy ones.

In an article in the Dallas Morning News, Evan Grant pointed out just how abysmal Gallo is with two strikes. It’s historically bad. Grant notes: “Over the 30 years that the stat has been tracked, Gallo’s batting average is the second lowest among the 1,417 players with at least 300 plate appearances that have extended to two strikes. His OPS is 24th lowest.”

Of course, any hitter with two strikes on him is in a difficult situation. Gallo takes that further. He is hopeless. He is hitting .090 with two strikes. Yikes.

The Rangers are trying to fix that. If they can tap into his beast mode, they will have created a monster. With Beltre gone, the Rangers need Gallo to be a legitimate middle-of-the-lineup threat instead of the bottom-of-the-lineup occasional nuisance he’s been. Nothing says, “You’re not scaring anyone” more than hitting eighth.

Spring training results don’t matter. Its all about the approach. Especially for Joey Gallo.

In his first game, Gallo had three plate appearances. He walked once, on four pitches. He struck out twice.

With two strikes, he is 0-2 with two strikeouts.

The Grand Experiment has a way to go.

 

  • SABERMETRICS MASTER

    Good morning Kevin

    Gallo had always made adjustments throughout his career and we can only hope we will build on the last two seasons. But if that first at-bat (which was the only one I listened to before falling asleep), was any indication of his new approach at the plate, then we are hopeless.

    3-2 count, and he struck out on a ball high out of the strike zone. He could had 2 walks instead of one; but he didn’t.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Rangers failure with two strikes is a team disease.

      • Nathan Whitten

        Didn’t Odor (at least) show improvement in that area? He would probably be the only one if so.

        • CrazyEd

          He did. Odor is a stubborn young man. If he puts his mind to something, iand he’s physically capable, it’s usually going to happen.

        • JacobMcCandles

          Roogie is on the precipice of being a truly great player, and the best part for me he realized he had a problem and went and got help from the coaches.

  • CrazyEd

    What distressed me most about that game was Jonhathan Hernandez doing his Martin Perez imitation. The guys got great stuff and gets hitters out consistently when he doesn’t nibble. Unfortunately he tends to fall into the nibble mode and start walking folks. Maddening!!! Historically, after a few outings at each level he has gotten over it and, after a rocky start, performed well. Can a major league team afford four or five rough starts until, maybe, things get better?

    • elkaba

      LOL, for most teams the answer would probably be no. For the Rangers lately “four or five rough starts” is just another day at the ballpark. 🙂

    • dearmidol

      If the Rangers could afford to keep Carlos Tocci on a major league roster for an entire season, they can keep any starter who goes four or five or ten rough starts in a row.

      • Nathan Whitten

        Why do they keep a roster spot for him? Has he ever shown promise? I am not familiar with his background.

        • JacobMcCandles

          Defense and. speed….and pray for .250

          • Nathan Whitten

            Prayer ever close to being answered?

          • JacobMcCandles

            In life yes…as a Ranger fan…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

        • CrazyEd

          He was a rule five draftee so they had to keep him on the roster or give him back. He showed enough upside to warrant keeping him around. Had it been a different season, and the team had better prospects at CF they probably would not have kept him. When all is said and done, and the Rangers CF prospects (Martinez, Thompson and Taveras) move up through the system, he may become a good trade piece in a couple years.

          • Nathan Whitten

            So–same reason as Deshields?

          • CrazyEd

            Exactly!

          • dearmidol

            You’re right, Ed. And they did a pretty good job of working around him with DeShields, Gallo, Rua occasionally. They were even able to put him on the wink-wink DL twice to clear him off the roster for a few weeks. And then, when the September call-ups came, they were able to warehouse him on the bench.

        • elkaba

          DMN today suggests Tocci will spend this whole season at AAA.

          • CrazyEd

            That’s the place for him. At the beginning of last season he was horribly over matched at the plate. As the season progressed he kept showing improvement until season’s end when he was looking more comfortable and even had a three hit game. He should do well at AAA. If he can muster up gap power I could see a call up, even before Sept.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Almost half my Sunday school class is Chinese. And I worked for an older Chinese fella that said he would pay me to explain English slang..😀 very honorable man

    • Nathan Whitten

      Perez could have been a home-grown top of the line Ranger pitcher. Instead he was a known-groan inducing failure. You stated the reasons well. He flat refused to trust his stuff enough to throw the dadgum ball over the plate. I do not have the stats to prove it, but I’d wager that a large part of the runs he gave up were men that he put on base because they would not take his bait. Had his opponents been the present day Rangers, he might have sparkled, for so many do chase balls. Who knows what will happen to him? If he gets the right pitching coach, he might make Texas look bad. He could be so good, but ultimately did himself in. Maddening indeed.

      • elkaba

        I think he had plenty of help with failure while he was here. Banister and Brocail’s never ending mantra of blasting the inside part of the plate let hitters know exactly what was coming. (Similar to Cowboys recent offensive coordinators…)

        In fact, that’s how most hitters looked against us the last few year, like there was nothing we could throw they didn’t know was on its way, even from Hamels. (On the flip side though, our hitters looked like Southerners trying to understand Chinese…but that’s a whole other discussion 🙂

        • JacobMcCandles

          Coordinators are just like coaches. Too much credit and too much blame. As far as understanding Chinese, I am still working on elkanese.

        • CrazyEd

          Trust me Chinese is an incomprehensible language. Even the Chinese don’t understand it half the time. It’s the reason they holler at each other and talk with their mouth full. Been married to one for fifty one years so I’ve got a handle on it. No I can’t speak it. About ten words and I get them wrong.

    • JacobMcCandles

      I thought Perez always had a melt down inning.

  • CrazyEd

    Hunter Pence batting practice. Not good video, but it is what it is:

    /home/ed/Desktop/dzVQi-3gJ4s2OnL_.mp4

  • SABERMETRICS MASTER
    • CrazyEd

      I read that. Interesting stuff. How do we implement? Mazara and Gallo, appear to be on board. Supposedly both are working on swing changes. That’s something that doesn’t happen overnight so it will probably be awhile before we see any real results. Hoping for the best.

  • SABERMETRICS MASTER
    • JacobMcCandles

      Boy thats a Bob Dylan lineup!!! Times they are a changin…..LO

  • CrazyEd

    Rangers traded pitcher David Lebron to the O’s for an unknown amount of International Slot money. Lebron was a 26th round draft pick, never pitched after July last due to injury. Supposedly the Ranger’s have their eye on a Cuban SS whose name escapes me at the moment (mine escapes me at times also, Edsheimers). We’ll see come July.

  • CrazyEd

    Got the lawn mowed. Ready for the ball game or possibly nap time. All depends on the first few innings.

  • dearmidol

    Eli White has never played left field until today. Weird.

    • CrazyEd

      And interesting given that Gallo and Calhoun figure to be LF’ers. Maybe they are serious about Gallo in CF which would leave just Willy in LF. Like you said, Weird.

      • SABERMETRICS MASTER

        Gallo should be our CF IMO.
        Calhoun and DeShields belong to the bench at most.

        • CrazyEd

          I was big time down on Calhoun last season. He had a bad attitude, was over weight and spent his time pouting. After seeing the work he put in this winter, I’ve re-evaluated and willing to give him a good look during ST. That said, as a very wise person once told me “Expect the worst, that way when you get it you won’t be disappointed.”

          • JacobMcCandles

            Amen

          • SABERMETRICS MASTER

            At the end of ST, Gallo will be in CF, Pence in LF, and Mazara in RF

          • CrazyEd

            Sounds good to me. When I think of Gallo if CF I keep having flash backs to Hamilton out there. If only Gallo could hit like Hamilton. I think he can if he puts his mind to it and quits trying to hit the bottom of the ball. At least that what he said he tries to do. Crud, just hit the middle of the ball.

  • CrazyEd

    Mendez is off to a great start 🙁 🙁 🙁

  • JacobMcCandles

    Mixed start so far….Mendez. who at one time was our #1 prospect behind a lot of batters 2 SOs now getting rocked

    • CrazyEd

      It’s getting closer to nap time.

      • dearmidol

        Ha. This might be a sleep-inducing season.

  • CrazyEd

    Our pitchers are better at hitting things than our position players.

    • dearmidol

      Our pitchers hit more things than our hitters.

  • grumpyderfsmagic8ball

    Geez

  • JacobMcCandles

    Really happy we are trying this pitch clock….game is moving fast.😳😎

    • dearmidol

      They were talking about it this morning on MLB Network Radio. It’s pretty worthless. In the Yankees-Red Sox game, not once did the clock get below :07 seconds. The problem is, they stop the clock at first motion by the pitcher. So, a pitcher can come set, and pause for as long as he wants. The clock stopped running the moment he got set. It doesn’t seem to have any bearing whatsoever on the game.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Yeah it’s horsespit

        • dearmidol

          Baseball doesn’t have an answer for pace of play when it comes to the Rangers pitching staff.

      • CrazyEd

        They keep trying to make baseball what it was never meant to be. Baseball was meant, from it’s inception, to be laid back and relaxing with a cerebral component. Baseball needs to look at what’s happening to Nascar with all the rules changes attempting to make it better and spectators keep fleeing. Nascar needs to go back to it’s roots and so does baseball. That’s my story and I”m sticking to it.

  • dearmidol

    Matt Davidson has the only two hits today.

    • CrazyEd

      He seems to have a pretty good shot at getting a slot on the team. Hope so.

  • CrazyEd
  • CrazyEd

    9 to 1 is starting to look like a pretty good score.

  • dearmidol

    Andy Ibanez has all the Rangers RBIs this season.

    • CrazyEd

      At one time he was rated as high as Texas #5 prospect (three or four years ago). I don’t think he’s even rated now. He’s out of Cuba.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Final episode of True Detective tonight!!!!!

  • CrazyEd

    Arias, I think, is going to eventually be a Ranger. He played his inaugural season this year at short season A Spokane. He hit .371 for the Indians and didn’t seem to know how to strike out. He’s got an extremely good eye. Lacks power, but may develop some as he grows.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Rangers are on pace to score about 36 runs in Spring Training . . . and give up about 342 runs.

  • CrazyEd

    Why I like Ranger baseball …. It reminds me of my younger years. I loved that stuff. Why? Just did.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj7y6Ncej40

  • JacobMcCandles

    For Kevin and all parents!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cliSRTIMvts

  • calntom

    Sadzeck and Romano came ready to pitch