Joey Gallo is on the Texas Rangers’ roster to replace Adrian Beltre, and the club’s top prospect will be a lineup regular until their future Hall of Fame third baseman is healthy again.
Gallo, the Rangers’ top prospect, was promoted from Double A Frisco on Monday and Beltre was placed on the disabled list with a sprained and lacerated left thumb. Beltre will likely be out three weeks.
The Rangers had planned to promote Gallo to Triple A Round Rock before Beltre was injured Sunday. Instead, he will head to Globe Life Park for his first taste of the big leagues Tuesday night against the Chicago White Sox.
General manager Jon Daniels said that the decision to temporarily skip Triple A won’t necessarily stunt Gallo’s development. Instead, it will aid in it.
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“We called him up with the intent that he’s going to play,” Daniels said. “He will come up here and get some first-hand experience and knowledge on speed of the game, how pitchers are going to attack him, see other guys’ success and see how they handle it, see other guys fail and see how they handle it.
“The whole deal. Work with the big-league coaching staff, the travel, all the things he’s heard about but can’t experience first-hand without being here. When the time does come and he goes back to the minor leagues, he’ll have a clear idea of what he needs to continue to work on.”
Gallo batted .314 with a 1.061 OPS, a stat that adds on-base and slugging percentages. He had nine homers and 31 RBIs, both team-highs even though he missed the first two weeks after having surgery on his left foot.
While no player in the minors has more power than Gallo, and the left-handed hitter has worked on a better approach at the plate, his strikeout rate since climbing to Double A last season is 38 percent and his average against left-handed pitching is .176.
But Gallo is coming off consecutive 40-homer seasons in the minors and has made the necessary adjustments to improve at each stop.
“He’s been productive throughout his minor league career,” Daniels said. “That being said, the big leagues are tough.”
Daniels said that the Rangers considered another option, recalling second baseman Rougned Odor and moving Adam Rosales to third base. Odor, though .297 with a 1.061 OPS since his May 11 demotion, needs to continue to clean up his defense.
Gallo could join Odor in three weeks once Beltre is healthy. Beltre was injured in the fifth inning Sunday as he slid into second base to break up a double play and left the game immediately.
After the game, Beltre had been fitted for a splint and said that he wouldn’t grab a bat for 12 days.
“He’s going to get his job back,” Daniels said. “There not going to be any quarterback controversy.”
The known time frame could also help Gallo, Daniels said, by taking off some pressure. So will the environment Gallo will be entering, something Daniels said also led to the decision to promote him.
There will be no expectations, either. The Rangers just want him to contribute and gain an idea of what it takes to play in the major leagues.
“We’ve got a really good environment right now. I want to take advantage of that,” Daniels said. “There’s a lot of work being done. Guys are getting better. It’s a good feel, and it’s conducive to guys being set up for success.”
Gallo will get his first taste Tuesday.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760