Joey Gallo was penciled into the Texas Rangers’ lineup Monday as their left fielder, a position he played only a handful of times at Double A Frisco.
The rookie played only his nature position, third base, in his first 11 big-league games, but an injury to outfielder Delino DeShields, who will miss three weeks with a strained left hamstring, forced the Rangers to play Gallo in a spot they were originally hesitant of sticking him.
Gallo was not an option to play left field when Josh Hamilton suffered a groin injury May 31. But with the options against right-handed pitchers limited to Gallo, Kyle Blanks or Jake Smolinski, Gallo was the choice.
“Joey is a great athlete,” manager Jeff Banister said. “With the personnel we have, we felt this was the best look for us.”
Gallo took flyballs before batting practice with Blanks and also shagged in left field before his turn to hit. He said that his main concern is the sun, which can shine brightly the first few innings as the sun sets.
The larger stadium and bigger outfielder will also be different than his six games at Frisco.
“Here it’s going to be tough,” he said. “Once I get a few balls, I should be alright. Wherever they want me to play, I’m going to play.”
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760