Delino DeShields was the starting left fielder for the Texas Rangers on Thursday, and top prospect Joey Gallo will not be an option at the position while Josh Hamilton is on the disabled list.
Manager Jeff Banister said that Gallo will continue to play third base during Adrian Beltre’s recovery from an injured left thumb, and that asking Gallo to play the outfield would be one helping too much on his crowded plate.
Gallo played only a handful of games in left field with Double A Frisco before his promotion. With no plans to play him there, he remains on track for only a brief stint to open his big league career.
“I think Joey is a really good athlete,” Banister said. “I think Joey could go play in the outfield. I know everyone wants this young man to produce and stay here, but just let him play.”
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Kyle Blanks could be an option as soon as Tuesday. The pain associated with a procedure to remove a cyst near his tailbone has improved, and he will travel with the Rangers to Kansas City to ramp up his activities.
Hamilton received a platelet-rich plasma injection to help speed his recovery from a strained left hamstring, but the outfielder won’t begin baseball activities for at least a week.
Hamilton said that he had been dealing with the injury throughout his hastened return to the majors and aggravated it Sunday as he streaked to second base on his game-winning two-run double.
He had been wrapping his hamstring, but it wasn’t wrapped Sunday.
“Whatever situation it is, you pick yourself up and move forward,” Hamilton said. “I’m going to let pain be my guide. I’ve always traditionally healed pretty fast from things. That first week is important to let Mother Nature and medicine do its job.”
The Rangers put Hamilton on the disabled list and activated left-hander Ross Detwiler, who will pitch multiple innings and also be used in left-on-left situations. Detwiler opened the season in the starting rotation but was ineffective.
Travis Demeritte, the Rangers’ second first-round pick in the 2013 draft, was suspended 80 games Thursday for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program with a positive test for a banned substance.
Demeritte was caught using Furosemide, a diuretic that helps to mask other substances. The infielder, who 25 homers last year but had five so far this season for Class A Hickory, took responsibility for the violation.
“I want to apologize to the Texas Rangers organization, including my teammates, as well as my family, friends, and the fans for my error in judgment,” he said in a statement. “I accept full responsibility for my actions and will be working hard over the next few months to be fully prepared for a return as an active player.”
The Rangers used the 30th overall pick on Demeritte, a prep shortstop from Winder Barrow, Ga., seven picks after they selected right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez.
Chi Chi encore
Rookie right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez wants to duplicate his first big league start when he makes his encore Friday at Kansas City, though with fewer walks and while going deeper into the game.
Gonzalez tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings Saturday on two hits, but he walked five and struck out two. A win over the reigning American League champs, who lead the majors in batting average, would make Gonzalez only the third pitcher in club history to win his first two big league starts.
“Good team,” he said. “I’m going to stick to the same plan, less walks and try to make them put the ball in play when I want them to.”
▪ Right-hander Neftali Feliz (abscess) threw a third bullpen session and expects to join Triple A Round Rock on Saturday for a rehab assignment.
▪ Infielder Tommy Field, who was designated for assignment last week, cleared waivers and accepted outright assignment to Round Rock.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760