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Gallo focusing on strengths, ignoring critics

Special to MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Joey Gallo might not see your Facebook ire, your Twitter anger and your Instagram rants, but he has heard all about them.

Go ahead and complain, Gallo suggested Tuesday. He's going to keep being himself because for Gallo, he would rather establish what he does best and add on to that, than focus on too many things and not be true to himself.

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ANAHEIM -- Joey Gallo might not see your Facebook ire, your Twitter anger and your Instagram rants, but he has heard all about them.

Go ahead and complain, Gallo suggested Tuesday. He's going to keep being himself because for Gallo, he would rather establish what he does best and add on to that, than focus on too many things and not be true to himself.

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So that low batting average and those high strikeout totals? It's part of doing business as Gallo, for the time being.

"Sometimes you get caught up in being somebody you're not, and that's how you get run out of the league because you're telling people you're better than you're playing, but the results aren't there," Gallo said Tuesday. "You just have to go be yourself. I know a lot of people look at me like I'm not a good player, but I know the league, the players look at me and say 'That guy is a really good player.'"

Gallo's .810 OPS is enough to let him know he still is trending in the right direction, even if it is a little under last season's .869 mark. And he already has a career-best 85 RBIs, which he acknowledges as another source of pride. At 35 home runs, he is pushing toward the 40 mark again.

But he knows the naysayers are out there.

"I get a lot of heat because I strike out a lot," Gallo said. "That's part of my game. It always has been part of my game and I don't hit for a high average right now. So people think I'm trash or not a good player. But that's just part of it."

He admits to a feeling of good fortune that he was born into this baseball era in which batting average no longer is the king it once was. He feels for guys like Carlos Pena and Adam Dunn, guys he has been compared to, who were crushed for not doing things they weren't good at anyway.

"People would always tell me, 'You're just another Adam Dunn,' and I'm like, 'Adam Dunn has like 450 career home runs [462 actually]," Gallo said. "That's great if I'm Adam Dunn. I will take that any day. Any team would take that.'"

So stop waiting for Gallo to turn into Mike Trout or Mookie Betts or J.D. Martinez or Bryce Harper. He's intent on working on himself, then adding on a piece here and a piece there when he solidifies his base.

"It's not like I can strike out four times in a game and say, 'That's me!'" he said. "It sucks. But coming up was really, really hard because nobody really understood that. I had to talk to some people, and looking in the mirror and I didn't like who I saw, because I wasn't being myself."

In other words, Gallo likes the direction he is pointed now, but his journey is far from done.

"It's not all about what you can't do; everybody can't do something," Gallo said. "But what can this guy do to help win ballgames is what matters. Mike Trout can do everything, but 99 percent of players can't do everything. They have to do what they can do best to help the team win every day. That's what it comes down to."

Keeping options open

Manager Jeff Banister said the Rangers catching situation will remain fluid into the offseason. He was asked if Robinson Chirinos and Isiah Kiner-Falefa will see most of the time behind the plate next season.

"I think we will continue to look at all our options," Banister said. "It comes down to the depth you have, also, moreso than just the two guys you have at the top."

Rangers beat

• Left-hander Zac Curtis remains on paternity leave, with Banister saying the pitcher will likely rejoin the team this weekend in San Diego, or Monday for the start of the homestand, at the latest.

• Second baseman Rougned Odor was back in the lineup Tuesday and at the top of the order, with Banister confirming that Monday's day off was merely a day of rest and not a concession to a nagging injury.

• Despite the fact that he was dropped from the rotation at the start of the month and was hit hard in relief over the weekend, Banister has no plans to shut down right-hander Ariel Jurado. Over his last six appearances, including two in relief, Jurado has given up at least three runs in five of them.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Texas Rangers, Joey Gallo