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BALTIMORE — Tim Locastro was called up from Triple-A on Sunday and went right into the Yankees lineup. 

But while Locastro’s start in left field against Orioles left-hander Bruce Zimmerman came at Joey Gallo’s expense, manager Aaron Boone insisted he does not see the position turning into a platoon despite Gallo’s early-season struggles. 

“Not really,” Boone said before the Yankees fell 5-0 at Camden Yards. “Timmy brings a lot of value. Really like him against left-handed pitching. Love his speed and his defense, his ability to play all three [positions] out there. Obviously a guy we can use off the bench in a lot of different roles. So I see him up here certainly playing an important role for us. And there’s probably some starts out there for him to be had. But I don’t see it becoming that situation with Joey.” 

Gallo was out of the lineup for the second time in the first 10 games of the season, though he entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning and lined out. Through Sunday, he had just four hits, all singles, in 29 at-bats to go with 11 strikeouts and six walks. The outfielder’s underlying metrics have not jumped off the charts either — entering Sunday, his average exit velocity ranked in the 44th percentile and his hard-hit percentage was in the 67th percentile. 

Tim Locastro, Joey Gallo
Tim Locastro, Joey Gallo
AP, Robert Sabo

“If he’s getting on base at a high level and hitting for power, then offensively, that’s success for me for Joey,” Boone said. 

Gallo largely struggled last season after coming over in a July trade from the Rangers, but the Yankees were hopeful that he would be a more impactful player this season now that he had settled into the new environment. 

“I do feel like he’s in a way better place mentally, physically, emotionally,” Boone said. “He’s a lot more settled here. Obviously knows the guys a lot better. He’s an important part of that room now. But start of the season, you like to see guys start to get some results and get settled in so they can go be the player they are.” 

Meanwhile, the game marked Locastro’s first in the major leagues since last July, when he tore his ACL making a catch against the wall at Yankee Stadium. He went 0-for-2 but flashed his speed and defense in the sixth inning with a diving catch deep in the gap to keep the game scoreless. 

Locastro took the roster spot of left-hander JP Sears, who was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after recording his first MLB win Saturday night. The move put the Yankees’ roster at 15 pitchers and 13 position players. They had bulked up with arms coming out of spring training, but the combination of Monday’s off day and starting pitchers nearing full workloads allowed them to trim a reliever from their 28-man roster.

Source: NYPOST

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