Joey Gallo believes he still has a chance to win a spot this spring on the Texas Rangers’ Opening Day roster, but he said his No. 1 hope is to be in the majors at some point this season.
The signing of Mike Napoli has taken away what Gallo believed was his best chance, to compete this spring at first base, and the Rangers will ask him to play third base and left field.
“There’s really no spot for me anymore, so I’m going to have to battle for wherever there is an opening,” Gallo said. “I’m not really worried about anything. I’m just going to go out and get my work in and hopefully at some point I’ll be able to get some at-bats throughout the season up there.”
When asked if he was conceding that he’s going to start the season at Triple A Round Rock, Gallo responded with a quick, “no.” But he believes there is only so much he can learn at Triple A and would rather figure out what’s left on his initial learning curve in the majors.
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“It’s valuable to learn up there,” Gallo said. “We’ll see how things go. I don’t think that at all about going to Round Rock. I haven’t heard anything.”
Gallo said that he spent all winter working out at first base, but worked out Thursday at third base. That’s his natural position and his favorite position, and he said that he will have no issues there or in left field.
The slugger had only one hit, a towering home run, in 25 big-league at-bats last season. He went to Venezuela in the off-season to get more at-bats, only to pull his hamstring in his third game.
He has played 155 games at Triple A, connecting for 39 home runs but batting only .224 with 240 strikeouts in 559 at-bats.