Joey Gallo is back and might have a decision to make.
He’s probably going to be asked to participate in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game in three weeks.
Gallo, who was 1 for 4 with an RBI double in the Texas Rangers’ 5-3 win against the Detroit Tigers Tuesday night, is still not pain-free from the left oblique strain that put him on the injured list June 1.
The idea of Gallo taking a bunch of maxed out swings to win a $1 million derby gives Rangers manager Chris Woodward a little pause.
Gallo, who is one of nine finalists for three outfielder starting spots in the All-Star Game, said he’d definitely play in the game if he earns a spot.
Hunter Pence is also a finalists for the American League’s designated hitter.
“I would much rather be an All-Star,” Gallo said. “Taking pretty much gangster hacks for 30 minutes straight probably isn’t great for an oblique. But playing in a game, you maybe get one or two at-bats — that’s nothing. I would be more worried about doing the home run derby than the All-Star Game.”
Woodward said if Gallo is asked to participate in the derby, they’d have to have a serious talk about the potential consequences, considering his health status.
“I’m just worried about the repetitions, the bright lights, a lot of money on the line … in a home run derby? I’m guess he’s going to want to show the world the kind of power Joey Gallo has and that could get him in trouble,” he said.
But even Woodward was unsure on the topic, at least at the moment.
“If he says he feels 100 percent and he can control his swing to a certain amount … it’s a million dollars,” he said. “That’s a big amount of money, especially for a guy who hasn’t made a ton of money in his career yet. So it’s a big deal. I can’t tell him not to do it. And part of my wants to see him do it, to be honest with you.”
Gallo’s legs felt like Jell-O
Gallo’s RBI double to right field in the third inning looked like a possible triple but he put the emergency breaks on after rounding second base.
Did you want to go three?
“I did. My legs didn’t want me to go three,” Gallo said. “My oblique is fine, but my legs are a little jello-y, for not playing for three weeks straight. My legs aren’t coordinated still, like they were before I got injured.”
Gallo said his legs are still catching up to playing every day after missing 22 games. He said it’ll take a few days. Woodward said Gallo will play left field Wednesday night with Delino DeShields getting the start in center.
The biggest concern for Gallo returning from the oblique strain was running, throwing and generally defensive maneuvers. Swinging the bat was less of a concern.
“Throughout the game, I felt better,” he said. “I tested it pretty good when I was rehabbing. That’s kind of the key thing in rehab — just testing it, so when I go out there on the big league field, I know my limits. I don’t think about it too much, honestly. I wasn’t thinking about it today, so I was pretty happy about that.”
Jose Trevino begins rehab
Catcher Jose Trevino began a rehab assignment in Arizona on Monday. He has been on the injured list with a quad injury since May 20.
He had surgery on his left shoulder in July.
He was hitting .240 with one home run and 13 RBIs in 27 games for Triple-A Nashville.
Heineman and other farm moves
Outfielder Scott Heineman was transferred back to Nashville after rehabbing in Arizona.
Left-hander Brock Burke is off the injured list and is expected to start for Double-A Frisco on Saturday. Burke has dealt with blisters and shoulder fatigue. He has a 3.92 ERA in 20 2/3 innings in the minors this season. He allowed four runs on nine hits in five innings for Hickory Monday night.
Rangers sign draft picks
Right-handers Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa and Nick Yoder signed with the Rangers on Tuesday. Hoopii-Tuionetoa (30th round) is 6-foot-2 from Baldwin High School in Hawaii. Yoder (34th round) is 6-6 from Rowan College.