Gallo "not worried at all" about tight quad muscle

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Joey Gallo was adamant: The wrap around his left quadriceps is nothing to get worked up about.

“Just a little soreness, a little tightness,” the Nationals slugger said. “If it’s the season, we’re not even talking about it. But obviously in spring training, you’re always just cautionary. I’m not worried at all.”

Gallo hasn’t played either of the last two days because of the tight quad muscle. He didn’t participate in team defensive drills this morning, though he did take batting practice and showed no ill effects, launching balls into the stratosphere as usual.

The 30-year-old first baseman/outfielder said he didn’t get hurt on any one particular play. He just felt the tightness develop over several days and decided not to push it further.

“I’ve been playing with it fine,” he said. “It’s just more getting a couple days off it. It’s still so early in spring, you don’t want to do anything stupid. It’s very precautionary. Obviously, I’m out practicing, I’m doing everything. It’s about getting off it for a couple games and then getting back out there. It’s not a worry at all.”

Manager Davey Martinez suggested he expects Gallo back in the lineup, perhaps on Monday.

The Nationals’ most expensive signing of a very quiet offseason – one year, $5 million – Gallo has been a physical presence at camp since the day he arrived. He’s spoken glowingly about the camaraderie in a clubhouse full of young players and his ability to mesh well with everyone.

“It’s a great clubhouse,” the former Ranger, Yankee, Dodger and Twin said. “Very fun to come in every day and interact with our guys. It’s a young group, but that’s a good thing because everybody’s energetic. It’s been a lot of fun. I’m very happy that I’m here, honestly. It’s been a great spring so far.”

Officially listed by the team as an outfielder, Gallo has seen all of his game action (and most of his pregame work) so far at first base. He said he’s comfortable moving to the outfield (where he won two Gold Glove Awards) at a moment’s notice but wants to get as much work at first base as he can right now, developing a rapport with the Nats’ infielders.

Joey Meneses has also been getting time at first base, and today Jesse Winker is starting in left field. If Winker (a non-roster invitee) makes the club on Opening Day, Martinez will have to figure out how he wants to position everyone. The manager suggested it may develop into a rotation, giving everyone an opportunity to take a turn as designated hitter and take a load off their feet.

“I honestly think to keep these guys healthy and on the field, to kind of rotate them,” Martinez said. “Like, somebody’s day off will be DHing, rather than just give them a complete day off. This way we keep them all healthy. We need these guys to hit. So I want to keep them on the field as much as possible, and if I can rotate them and keep them off their feet here and there and let them DH, I’ll do that.”

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