Texas Rangers

Rangers expect Gallo to return in 2019, but he won’t if he needs as long as one slugger did

Joey Gallo on All-Star Game home run

Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo said his home run in the All-Star Game is a highlight of his young career.
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Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo said his home run in the All-Star Game is a highlight of his young career.

The biggest Texas Rangers news in the days going forward is likely to transpire off the field.

Such was the case Thursday as Joey Gallo underwent surgery on his right hand and was replaced on the active roster by Willie Calhoun.

The Rangers also traded with the Atlanta Braves for a pitcher, right-hander Shane Carle. He had been designated for assignment Wednesday, and the Rangers optioned him to Triple A Nashville.

The acquisition forced the Rangers to designated Kyle Dowdy for assignment.

Don’t expect to see Dowdy in a Rangers uniform again. He was a Rule 5 selection, which means he must be offered back to the Cleveland Indians if he clears waivers. The Indians could always let the Rangers keep him, but there’s a lot to like in that right arm.

On the field, well, it was newsworthy as the Rangers rallied in the middle innings to again avoid slipping below .500 for the first time since May 27.

Here’s some Rangers Reaction from an 11-3 victory over the Oakland A’s.

Guessing on Gallo

Delino DeShields broke the hamate bone in his left hand in the second game of the 2018 season and rushed to get back in shorter than four weeks. He was hot for about a week before the bottom fell out on his season.

He should have taken his time.

Gallo will miss a minimum of four weeks. Because of the violent nature of his swing, the expectation is he will need a few more weeks than DeShields did.

Giancarlo Stanton, another fearsome home-run hitter, missed three months in 2015 with a broken hamate bone.

There are two months and a week left in the 2019 season. The way things are going, that last month might not have much significance for the Rangers.

Would the Rangers shut him down for the season if, say, he isn’t ready until Sept. 15? He wouldn’t have the luxury of a rehab assignment, with the minor-league seasons over. He would have to get his at-bats against kids in the instructional league.

Is a two-week stretch worth the risk of further injury or some late-season bad swing habits from favoring the injury?

Gallo won’t come back until he’s 100 percent, manager Chris Woodward said. Woodward definitely wants him back. Gallo will want to come back to see pitches and log at-bats as a way to jump into the off-season.

The guess here is he returns in early September and finishes with a bang. The Stanton comparison, though, is a bit scary.

Calhoun again

Willie Calhoun spent less than a week at Triple A Nashville after he was left stunned by the Rangers’ decision to option him July 16 to clear a roster spot for Hunter Pence.

It was a numbers game, and Calhoun drew the unlucky one.

He was upset, and understandably so according to his teammates, manager and general manager. He might have been too upset.

These things usually have a way of working themselves out.

Maybe he understands that now after taking Gallo’s roster spot.

The injury is exactly why the Rangers told him to go down and stay sharp. They needed him ready in case of an injury, which could have happened at any time, rather than spend his time at Nashville licking his wounds.

If all goes well while Gallo is out, Calhoun won’t have to worry about another option. Ever. If he is optioned again, it might be for only 10 days or two weeks until rosters expand Sept. 1.

He’ll be ticked, as history shows, but he should now have an understanding that these things usually have a way of working themselves out.

On the field ...

There was a game Thursday, and it turned out to be one the Rangers needed after the A’s threatened to run away with it after a three-run first inning against Ariel Jurado.

His role in the win shouldn’t be forgotten.

The Rangers scored five times each in the fifth and sixth, with the highlight being Danny Santana’s first career grand slam. He had a two-run double in the fifth to give him a career-high six RBIs.

Jurado, though, bought the offense time to get cozy against Brett Anderson, Lou Trivino and Wei-Chung Wang, who surrendered the grand slam.

The A’s had three hits after two innings, and three hits after six.

“He just really found the feel for the fastball,” catcher Tim Federowicz said. “You could see the intent in his eyes, and he really started going after hitters.”

Jurado rebounded from a dismal start to post six straight zeroes, and he was so good that he was pushed to 108 pitches.

The victory snapped the Rangers’ six-game losing streak at Oakland Coliseum, but still left them only 5-18 here since the start of the 2017 season.

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After 11 seasons covering the Rangers for the Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson knows that baseball is a 24/7/365 business and there is far more to baseball than just the 162 games each season. There’s also more to Jeff -- like a family and impressive arsenals of Titleist hats and adidas shoes -- but sometimes it’s hard to tell.