ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo has started to swing a bat again, but his return isn’t expected until mid-September.
Gallo swung lightly off a tee on Friday as he continues his recovery from July 25 surgery to repair a broken hamate bone in his left hand.
“It’s good, but, in my opinion, it’s still a couple of weeks away from taking a full swing against pitchers,” Gallo said. “It’s improving every day, but it just takes time.”
The Rangers believe there is still enough time left in the season for Gallo to get back on the field. He just wants to be smart about it.
“Obviously, I want to get back out there and play,” Gallo said, “but I want to make sure I am healthy and can play to my full capability. That’s most important. I don’t want any setbacks, but I think I’m going to be able to play before the season is over. That’s the hope.”
Gallo was enjoying his best season before going on the injured list. He was hitting .253 with 22 home runs, 49 RBIs, a .389 on-base percentage and a .986 slugging percentage. He also missed three weeks in June with a strained left oblique muscle and has played in just 70 games.
“It’s pretty boring to have to sit and watch the games and not be able to play at all,” Gallo said. “I’m trying to find things to take my mind off it. It’s definitely not fun when you want to go up and hit and can’t do it.”
Burke first, then Palumbo
Brock will be making his Major League debut; Palumbo will be pitching for the fourth time. The Rangers are not planning for this to be a one-start shot for either pitcher. The Rangers want to get an extended look at both in the final six weeks of the season.
“I would be pretty much certain in saying Palumbo,” manager Chris Woodward said. “He is going to take over that spot in the rotation. There is a chance Burke can hop in there, too. Palumbo, I think, definitely.”
Brock could eventually take over for Ariel Jurado, who is still scheduled to pitch on Thursday against the White Sox. Jurado is 1-5 with a 7.71 ERA in his seven starts since the All-Star break.
“We’ll look at things as we go,” Woodward said. “Potentially, we could go six-man [rotation] in September. We’ve toyed with that idea. We have a lot of options. I would like to see Burke more than once.”
• Nashville infielder Nick Solak, who was acquired from the Rays for pitcher Peter Fairbanks on July 13, had a 17-game hitting streak going into Sunday. During the streak, he is hitting .420 (29-for-69) with six home runs and 18 RBIs. He is the No. 13 prospect in the Rangers system, according to MLB Pipeline.
• Danny Santana’s two home runs on Friday gave him 21 for the season. He is the sixth switch-hitter in Rangers history to hit at least 20 home runs in a season. Ruben Sierra had five such seasons with the Rangers, Mark Teixeira had four, Mickey Tettleton had two, and Milton Bradley and Jurickson Profar had one each.
• Kolby Allard, who is 22, will start on Monday against the Angels. With Burke (23) and Palumbo (24) both pitching on Tuesday, this will be the first time the Rangers have started three pitchers younger than 25 in consecutive games since Luis Mendoza, Matt Harrison and Warner Madrigal from July 7-9 in 2008.