The original plan was for third baseman Joey Gallo to come to Arlington for a brief period, and then go to Triple A when the Texas Rangers lineup was loaded with veterans and there was no longer a spot for him.
That was the intent when Adrian Beltre went on the disabled list in early June. At least according to Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, that remains the plan today.
Daniels told me in a phone interview on Monday that nothing has changed in terms of what the club is planning to do with Gallo when Beltre and Josh Hamilton return from the disabled list.
JD said Hamilton (hamstring) is likely to begin a rehab assignment this week, which would most put him back on the active 25 man roster next week. He also said that Beltre (thumb) took 50 swings two days ago and that the thumb is still bothering him; he said Beltre is probably two weeks away from returning.
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Then there is the matter of Delino DeShields (hamstring), who was placed on the DL on June 15.
All of these moving injured parts means Gallo has a spot in the lineup every day.
Personally, I never thought Gallo would go to Triple A unless he was striking out virtually every at bat. That has not been the case, but he is going to have his struggles.
In 63 at bats, he is batting .222 with five home runs and 10 RBI. He has struck out 29 times with nine walks.
The anticipated slump most rookies endure after their promotion to the big leagues has hit - he is 2 for his last 20 at bats. And he has struggled against lefties - 2 hits in 28 at bats.
“I think it’s important that he plays every day; right now there is a spot for him in our lineup and he is playing and he is contributing,” JD said. “When these guys start to come back we will evaluate him at that time - how he is doing and whether he fits in our lineup.”
Given the injury history of the players on this team, it is hard to envision all of them are going to be healthy at the same time, which would keep a spot open for Gallo. Should the stars align, however, and the roster is full of healthy players, then the Rangers have their problem.
Right now they have not decided because they don’t have to.
I still don’t think he’s going to Triple A. He is a presence in the batting order, and as long as the Rangers continue to win he should be an every day player.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760