Joey Gallo, introspective at spring training, knows he has a job to do

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This offseason, Washington signed Gallo to a one-year, $5 million deal, hoping he can regain the form that made him an all-star in 2019 and 2021.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Joey Gallo was about to swing at the first pitch in the 31st at-bat of his eighth spring training as an everyday starter. He’s still trying to find his swing after a left quad injury earlier in camp. Earlier, he sat at his locker in the corner of the Washington Nationals clubhouse and said that if things don’t work out this season, he may not get another shot in the big leagues. He also know this is just spring training.

People don’t realize the toll of a 162-game season, he said. That’s why it’s important to have a clubhouse he feels comfortable in. He enjoys his spot near Nick Senzel, Lane Thomas and Ildemaro Vargas. He’s liked the youthful exuberance elsewhere around camp. On the technical side, he still sees value in preseason baseball. He’s always used the spring to prepare for the season; to recognize spin, stay in the zone and see pitches, though the results have never quite looked this bad: his .305 OPS is less than half that of his

Two hard-hit balls and four strikeout-free at-bats on Monday signaled a step in the right direction, but was a low bar to clear. He and Nationals Manager Dave Martinez acknowledged he’s a streaky player. But they want him to find his form and plan for him to play first base every day, — Joey Meneses will get the bulk of at-bats at DH — hoping to keep Gallo’s confidence high.

 

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