The Detroit Tigers should probably stop testing the arm of Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo.
Gallo threw rockets to nail Tigers baserunners at third base and home plate on Monday night.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Tigers had Isaac Paredes as a runner on first base with Victor Reyes at the plate. Reyes hit a groundball that got through the infield into right field, and this is a classic first-to-third play for a baserunner. But not with Gallo in right field, and he threw a strike to third base for an incredible outfield assist.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) July 20, 2021
The very next inning, the Rangers again ran on Gallo. This time it was at home plate. And again, it didn’t work (granted, with two outs, it’s at least an understandable gamble). Gallo made a 97.1 throw to get Jeimer Candelario at the plate.
Don't run on Joey …
This was a 97.1 MPH assist from Gallo. 💪 pic.twitter.com/QNe70zjLn1
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) July 20, 2021
This is nothing new with Gallo’s defense. He has terrific range and athleticism — he’s even played quite a bit of center field in his career — despite a first baseman’s build at 6’5″, 250, and he has an incredible arm as Monday night showed. He entered this game valued at seven defensive runs saved (and we literally saw him save one run, quite possibly two in this game), after 13 DRS in the 2020 shortened season. He’s an elite outfielder, and he has a .904 OPS offensively.
Unfortunately for Gallo, his defensive efforts appear to be a footnote in this game. Detroit has taken an 11-0 lead (it’s only the sixth inning), and knocked around Rangers starter Kyle Gibson for eight earned runs over five innings (and it could’ve been 10+ runs if not for Gallo’s defense). Gibson has been viewed as potentially the best starting pitcher available at the trade deadline, so this start in front of plenty of scouts is pretty rough timing for the Rangers and their hopes to acquire premium prospects.