Joey Gallo
Kamil Krzaczynski | USA TODAY Sports

This latest sign of life from Joey Gallo?

It has to be the beginning. The beginning of a turnaround that rewards the Yankees‘ faith, or of the overdue end to his failed tenure with the team. Because a club that wants to win the World Series cannot keep doing this.

Gallo got his monthly double in with hours to spare in Tuesday’s 9-1 romp over the Angels at Yankee Stadium. The embattled (automatic out)fielder went 2-for-3 with two runs and a walk, and he only struck out once. He also had a good night defensively.

It was Gallo’s first two-hit game since May 13 and his first base-on-balls since May 19. He tied his season-high by reaching base three times and pushed his batting average to .179 with his on-base percentage ticking up to .284.

You can put the optimistic spin on this: The weather is warming up, manager Aaron Boone’s decision to drop Gallo to ninth in the batting order is working and Mr. Boom-or-Bust is going to start delivering much more of the former.


Or, you can be realistic: Didn’t we do this already in late April, when Gallo clubbed home runs on back-to-back days in Baltimore? Or when he had a pair of homers in Chicago against the White Sox in mid-May? Both times, there was renewed hope Gallo was going to turn the corner. And both times, another parade of goose eggs followed.

We weren’t kidding when we called it Gallo’s monthly double. He literally has two of them this season.

This must be the fork in the road for Gallo and the Yankees. He is always going to be an infuriating player. And you will never trust him in a big spot. But if Gallo can be an asset defensively and at least approach the production he had with the Rangers, it becomes a manageable situation.

But if this proves to be just another aberration, general manager Brian Cashman has to finally give up and admit this was a colossal misfire. Aaron Hicks has been just as bad as Gallo, but he’s not going anywhere due to his contract. The Yankees have to stick with him. They don’t need to do the same with Gallo.

The Yankees can try to salvage this debacle with a trade, but good luck. While Gallo has drawn comparisons to Sonny Gray, there is a big difference. Mid-sized and small market teams had reason to believe Gray would find his stuff again and be an ace once he got out of New York. And he did just that, making the All-Star team in his first season with the Reds.

Gallo’s inability to make contact with the baseball is not going to be magically cured by moving to, say, Pittsburgh.

If the Yankees draw a line in the sand on compensation, they may find themselves at an impasse. Which is why they may have no choice but to admit complete defeat and designate Gallo for assignment, eating whatever is remaining on his $10.3 million salary. And guess what? That is what championship-caliber teams do. They make the right baseball move. Do you think Steve Cohen would be hemming and hawing over Gallo if he was a Met and they had Estevan Florial waiting in the wings?

If this is the first sign of a Gallo revival, great. If not, the Yankees can’t keep deluding themselves because an opposing pitcher happens to hit his bat every few weeks. Either way, something has to give. Starting now.

James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.