Joey Gallo was the Texas Rangers’ starting left fielder Friday for the second consecutive game as manager Jeff Banister attempts to jump-start the young slugger’s bat.
The Rangers brought Gallo, a left-handed hitter, from Triple A Round Rock because of his power potential and the threat of a home run off the bench down the stretch.
Gallo hit five home runs in his first go-round with the Rangers in June and had 14 in 53 games with Round Rock. But he also batted only .195 in 200 at-bats.
“It can’t be just a threat,” Banister said. “At some point it’s got to be real. If it’s not real, then we move on and we go into a different direction because we just can’t have a void at the bottom of the lineup.”
More than one-third of Joey Gallo’s hits at Triple A were home runs. He had 39 hits, 14 of them homers.
Gallo’s starts come at the expense of Will Venable, the veteran lefty hitter acquired to be part of a platoon in left field as Josh Hamilton recovers from a knee injury. Though batting only .240, Venable has drawn walks in eight of his 11 games.
Gallo might not get a second chance this season if he doesn’t begin producing during this stretch.
“But I’m willing to look and see and take the opportunity to see and find out if we can’t get Joey going,” Banister said. “If not, we have two or three really good candidates that we can put out there in left field.”