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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Still Hoping Trade Deadline Acquisition Can Figure it Out

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is giving Joey Gallo every opportunity to earn a playoff spot, but those opportunities are quickly running out.

Joey Gallo posted a 1.010 OPS in his first 14 games after the Dodgers acquired him from the Yankees at the trade deadline, and it looked like L.A. might have scooped another player off the trash heap. Sure, his strikeout rate was 38.1%, almost identical to the 38.8% he posted this season in New York, but as long as he was hitting the ball hard when he wasn't striking out, that seemed good.

Since those first 14 games, Gallo has posted a .484 OPS with a 42.7% strikeout rate, making him virtually unplayable.

The idea behind Gallo was always, "Let's see if we can fix him. If not, no harm done." After his first couple weeks, it seemed like he was likely to be on the postseason roster, and that assumption has never totally gone away.

Now, as we head into the postseason very shortly, it's looking more and more like he's unplayable in October.

Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts addressed Gallo's situation in his media scrum prior to Monday's game with the Rockies, and the tone wasn't extremely hopeful.

"Obviously, Joey's scuffling a little bit. I'm trying to give him as many opportunities to take at-bats in a big league game and see how he finishes up. So, just go out there and keep competing."

Roberts was asked what he's hoping to see from Gallo — more contact? A better approach?

"I think it's all of the above. You know, you never want to tell a guy 'don't strike out.' You just want to continue to encourage him to take good at-bats... we already know there's gonna be swing and miss in there, so for me it's just continue to encourage him to go out and compete and to try and take good at-bats."

Gallo is competing. He's trying. He seems happier than he was in New York, which is great. But the results aren't there, and at this point, it's hard to picture the Dodgers giving him any important at-bats in the postseason. He provides good defense, but Kevin Pillar and James Outman could each do that, too, probably with a better chance of also actually hitting the ball once in a while. Miguel Vargas doesn't provide the defense, and he hasn't set the world on fire in his short time in the big leagues, but it seems almost undeniable that Vargas, right now, is still a better hitter than Gallo.

There are just two games left in the regular season to "see how he finishes up," and unless Gallo shows a remarkable turnaround in those two games, it seems like he'll be cheering for his teammates from off the roster in the postseason.