Texas Rangers

Here’s why the Rangers are considering shutting down Joey Gallo for the rest of the season

The best season of Joey Gallo’s career might be finished.

The All-Star outfielder continues to feel discomfort in his right hand, and the Texas Rangers are weighing whether it is worth it for Gallo to try to continue to return.

While Gallo can’t injure the hand any further, as the broken hamate bone was removed July 25, there is some concern that other muscles and tendons could be hurt as he tries to find other ways to grip the bat.

The Rangers also don’t want any poor swing habits to develop that could set him back once he starts swinging again this off-season.

“We’re still going to play it day by day,” manager Chris Woodward said Wednesday before the Rangers played the Houston Astros. “I can’t guarantee a day at this point. I know it doesn’t feel good when he’s swinging. It’s not 100 percent. I’m not sure what percent. If I were to guess, I would say not great.

“I want him to play. I know he wants to play, but it’s just one of those things, ‘Does it make sense?’ If we get him back for a couple games and he can’t go every day, it’s like, ‘What’s it worth?’”

Gallo had been in Arizona since Saturday playing in simulated games and instructional league games, but the Rangers flew him back to Texas on Wednesday for a check-up. There was some expected discomfort after the first day of games, but it steadily became worse.

The Rangers will update Gallo’s status Friday. Woodward wasn’t sure if Gallo would meet the team in Oakland on Friday because he’s unlikely to play. Woodward said the Rangers might wait as long as Tuesday or Wednesday to the plug if Gallo can’t play against the Boston Red Sox.

Gallo was injured in a game at Seattle, and the Rangers weren’t sure if the normal 4-6 week recovery period was enough for Gallo because of the violent nature of his swings. Another of the game’s elite power hitters, Giancarlo Stanton, missed the final three months of the 2015 season because of the same injury.

He attempted to come back late into the season, but the Miami Marlins shut him down with only six games remaining.

The Rangers would have six games remaining when the starting the final homestand at Globe Life Park on Tuesday against the Red Sox.

“We’re discussing at as we speak, to see what makes sense,” Woodward said. “If he can’t play early in that Boston series, then we might just shut him down.”

Gallo would finish the season batting .253 with 22 home runs and a .986 OPS.

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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.
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