When he stepped into the batter’s box for his first at-bat with the Minnesota Twins, Joey Gallo was subjected to a sneaky shift that skirted the rules of the new ban to try and better defend against his hitting tendencies.
His opening series of the year ended with plays that no shift can defend, as Gallo bombed the Royals and has begun to re-establish himself as one of the best sluggers in the league.
There’s a ton of road left in the season, so we’ll try not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but if Gallo’s performance on Sunday was a small glimpse into all that he can do for Minnesota then the we’d all better buckle up for the ride.
Gallo smashed two home runs and added a third extra bases hit to help power the Twins to a 7-4 win over Kansas City. Minnesota is now 3-0 after its first series of the season and looks like a team that can generate offense in ways it sorely lacked last season.
In addition to finishing the day 3-for-4, Gallo had 4 RBI and 3 runs to get his batting average on the year up to .300. He was the massive boost the Twins needed in a game they might have otherwise lost if this were last season.
After the game Gallo was told he now held a share of the home run lead in the American League and his responses was awesome.
He also had some other things to say that will make Twins fans want to run through a wall for him just three games into the season.
“It’s always nice to have a good day, no matter when. Obviously early in the season, with a new team trying to show the guys I can play as well, it’s exciting,” Gallo said To Glen Perkins after the game. “You just want to help the team win so anyway I can do that, that’s what I’m going to contribute. It just so happened I was able to run into a couple of balls today.”
Boy did he ever. Anytime a guy hits three home runs and accounts for four runs it’s pretty safe to say he’s contributing.
It’s nice to see Gallo hit the season running like this, especially after what he went through recently with the Yankees. Before bottoming out in the Bronx, Gallo was one of the top sluggers in the league and that’s the guy the Twins gambled on getting when they signed him back in December .
We’re still very early in the season — just three games in — but it’s hard to not feel excited about all that Gallo can do for the lineup given what we’ve seen form him already.
“We have a pretty deep lineup on the bench as well, with a lot of guys who could be starting on other teams,” Gallo said. “Just having that depth and having guys who can run the bases and get that extra base but also slug and score runs quickly in a hurry, it’s always nice to have a lineup like that.”
That sounds like a guy who’s not only scoring on the field but scoring some major points in the clubhouse as a veteran leader. The Twins are beginning the season 3-0 for the first time since 2007, and look poised to get off to the hot start fans were hoping to see but have been conditioned in the past to be cautious of.
Again, it’s a long season but fans should also take a long time to enjoy how awesome things look after the first series of the season.