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Gallo to start Opening Day in left field

@Sullivan_Ranger
March 26, 2019

ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Chris Woodward said Joey Gallo is 100 percent, and will be the Opening Day left fielder when Texas hosts the Cubs on Thursday. Gallo was limited in the final 10 days of Spring Training with a strained right groin muscle. But he was able to get

ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Chris Woodward said Joey Gallo is 100 percent, and will be the Opening Day left fielder when Texas hosts the Cubs on Thursday.

Gallo was limited in the final 10 days of Spring Training with a strained right groin muscle. But he was able to get at-bats in Minor League games on Friday and Saturday, then played left field for six innings without any issues against the Indians on Monday in Arlington.

“Hopefully it will stay that way,” Gallo said.

He said there was never any doubt about being ready for Opening Day. But the Rangers wanted to be cautious and make completely sure he was in the clear before making any final roster decisions.

“I think he’s healthy, he’s fine,” Woodward said on Tuesday. “He showed it yesterday. He’s 100 percent. He was upset I took him out of the game yesterday, he wanted to play all nine. As a precaution I took him out because I knew he wanted to play today.”

Gallo was not in the starting lineup for the Rangers’ final exhibition game Tuesday, but the plan was to have him come off the bench and get at-bats late in the game.

“Originally I was going to give him the day off so I could give him two full days off,” Woodward said. “He said, 'No, I want to play.' Everything from the at-bats on the Minor League side until yesterday, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. He went after the fly balls fine. He was running around fine, he had no pain.”

Gallo was hitless in two at-bats in the Rangers' 5-4 victory over the Indians on Tuesday. He ended the spring hitting .206 (7-for-34). He did not hit a home run in any Cactus League game, but had two in Minor League action on Friday and Saturday.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.